Global Entrepreneurship Week Launches in Almaty

ASTANA – Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) launched on Nov. 18 in Almaty and will run through Nov. 23. The week, begun in 2008, is intended to spark business ideas among young people and is now run in 140 countries. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has sponsored GEW in Kazakhstan for two years, it noted in an Nov. 18 press release.

ebrr-pic4-452x302-30136Kazakhstan’s Entrepreneurship Week 2014 will be the largest start-up conference in Central Asia, GEW Public Relations Manager Zoya Ten told The Astana Times on Nov. 18.

The event will consist of round-table discussions, workshops, focus groups, trainings and breakout groups on current issues and problems in entrepreneurship in industries across the board, Ten said.

During the week’s Youth Entrepreneurship Forum, representatives of small and medium-sized businesses will sit down with the public and successful business people at a round table to discuss key issues in entrepreneurship and solutions to common problems.

“For the first time in 2014, there will be an exhibition of young start-up projects – a separate promo-area for start-up teams that already have prototypes or demo versions,” Ten said. “Thanks to this project, we will be able not only to attract the attention of business angels and investors to start-up teams in Kazakhstan, but also to demonstrate to the world successful cases in Kazakhstan and inspire beginning investors.”

One thousand young entrepreneurs and experienced business people, mentors and experts are expected to participate, the EBRD announced. Social entrepreneurship, access to finance, women’s entrepreneurship, and mentors’ role will be discussed and business-to-business exhibitions, networking zones, master classes and seminars will be included.

According to the EBRD’s press release, EBRD Kazakhstan Director Janet Heckman said, “Global Entrepreneurship Week in Kazakhstan will look not only at the role of young entrepreneurs, which has also been the focus in many countries, but especially at connecting experienced business people with start-up businesses. Supporting the private sector is an important priority in the EBRD’s partnership with Kazakhstan, and we value greatly initiatives such as this one.”

The EBRD has supported Global Entrepreneurship Week for the last 2 years. The event is also supported by a network of private companies and organisations including the Dell computer company, the International Labour Organisation, the MIT Enterprise Forum and others.