Image: UNDP Uzbekistan, 2022

January 13, 2022, Nukus, Karakalpakstan. Today, the United Nations Development Programme has launched a two-day training on the basics of entrepreneurship and the stages of launching startup initiatives for young people aged 18-30 from Kungrad, Muynak, Bozatau districts and Nukus city. The training is being conducted in partnership with the Agency for Youth Affairs in Karakalpakstan and in close cooperation with the Territorial Department of the Ministry of Innovative Development in the Republic of Karakalpakstan within the framework of the UNDP, UNFPA and FAO Joint Programme on "Unleashing young people’s and vulnerable citizens’ creativity and innovation by strengthening their adaptive capacity to address the economic and food insecurities in the exposed communities of the Aral Sea region", funded by the UN Multi-Partner Human Security Trust Fund for the Aral Sea region in Uzbekistan.

It is envisioned to create local startup incubators and accelerators within the framework of this programme to support the innovative ideas of young entrepreneurs in Karakalpakstan. Besides, a youth platform at the Youth Affairs Agency will be introduced providing all necessary conditions for future entrepreneurs and those, who are willing to work with the startup projects.

“A startup is something new that provides an innovative method for business. It comes from an idea, its relevance and uniqueness. Startup projects find solutions to various people's problems and make our lives easier to some extent. I think our region needs startups like no other, and we have all necessary conditions here," says Islam Dauletyarov, a student of the Nukus State Pedagogical Institute named after Ajiniyaz, a participant of online training on startups held by UNDP in December 2021.

The participants of the training course receive informational support from recognized experts in this field invited to Karakalpakstan from the Russian Federation. As Natalia Nikitina, a Certified trainer of the Council of Europe and a leading trainer of the Moscow School of Management "Skolkovo", notes the experts will work with young people after the training as well to guide them in all stages before the launch of their startup projects. The selected on a competitive basis startup will receive funding from the UNDP for further implementation. The main areas for the startup initiatives cover economy, social sphere, information technology, tourism, climate change in the region (related to agriculture).

“Since I'm already working on a startup, I realized what mistake I'm making in my project. First of all, I had to decide on the audience, identify the problem and find a solution. I also realized that it's not worth rushing with projects. We must first carefully study everything before bringing the raw product to the masses," says Gulnara Joldasbayeva, a student at the Nukus State Pedagogical Institute named after Ajiniyaz.

UNDP continues its work to increase the efficiency and implement innovations in agriculture of Karakalpakstan, promoting smart and digital communities with a favorable infrastructure to expand the rights and opportunities of young people, women, as well as vulnerable groups of people, including people with disabilities, families led by women, labor migrants and etc.

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