The National Chamber of Entrepreneurs is encouraging small and rural businesses to join this business association in order to better keep up with changing laws and new technologies.
Most of the nearly 700 business associations formed in Kazakhstan since its independence are concentrated in major cities and regional centres, leaving rural entrepreneurs with few resources. Often, villager entrepreneurs struggle to analyse and articulate their problems, let alone find resolutions. Many businesspersons in remote rural districts have poor mobile communications and no access to information sources like the Internet. In addition, they may only learn about changes to business laws when they find themselves unknowingly in violation.
Compulsory membership in the National Chamber of Entrepreneurs will provide wide coverage and ensure that all entrepreneurs, including those in remote areas, have some kind of support. The main goal of any organization is to protect and support their members. At present, only 4 to 5 percent of businesspersons who are members of various associations use their memberships.
What prevents villagers from joining the business association and protecting themselves this way?
First, many entrepreneurs have low levels of legal understanding and often don’t know how to defend themselves. Secondly, in many regions, especially rural areas, associations have not yet been formed.
One of the tasks set by the National Chamber of Entrepreneurs (NCE) is to help improve Kazakhstan’s legislation on entrepreneurship issues. This meticulous work can be done only in cooperation with entrepreneurs, business associations and the government. In 20 years, the economic situation in the country and the world has changed dramatically. Old ways of doing business are no longer workable. It is necessary for workers and entrepreneurs to improve their professional skills and acquire new knowledge. Among the problems that can be solved by the NCE through compulsory membership is a lack of training. The NCE can provide assistance in training, retraining and advanced training of personnel in various sectors of the economy.
A special issue in this regard is the implementation of state programmes to support entrepreneurship, especially the programme of company towns’ development, which provides service support. However, today, at the beginning of this programme, it is clear that the work of the service centres requires coordination and expanding the scope of services provided. This function can be performed most successfully by the NCE, because we know the needs of entrepreneurs and how to support them.
The author is president of the nongovernmental organisation Abai District Association of Entrepreneurs.