More than 77,000 participate in Bastau Business, Zhas Kasipker programmes

NUR-SULTAN – More than 77,000 individuals have graduated from the Bastau Business (Start Business) and Zhas Kasipker (Young Entrepreneur) programmes since their launch in 2017, said Atameken National Chamber of Entrepreneurs Chair Ablai Myrzakhmetov at a Sept. 23 government meeting.

During Zhas Kasipker business training. Photo credit: atameken.kz.

The chamber runs the programmes, which provide one-month training to future entrepreneurs across different areas on the way to start a business. 

Bastau Business has no age restrictions and individuals up to 63, the retirement age in Kazakhstan, may be involved. Zhas Kasipker targets unemployed young people aged 18-29. Programme participants also receive more than 16,000 tenge (US$41.22) in scholarship money and, upon completion, can apply for a grant or credit.

Mentors support the entrepreneurs for 6-12 months once they open their businesses. More than 20,000 participants have started their own businesses in the last three years, said Myrzakhmetov. 

Programme graduates have received 35 billion tenge (US$90.4 million) in loans and produced goods and services worth more than 50 billion tenge (US$129.1 million). 

“Bastau Business was launched as a pilot project in 2016. In 2017, more than 15,000 people were trained and, of those, 3,314 started their own business. In 2018, more than 28,000 people were trained and 7,692 people started their own business,” said Myrzakhmetov.

This year’s plan is to train 75,000 individuals, 15 percent of whom are expected to open businesses. As of September, 32,923 were trained, including 18,300 aged 18-29 and 600 from large families, and 9,929 started business. 

Myrzakhmetov noted nearly 15,000 small and medium sized businesses will be opened in 2019.  

Prime Minister Askar Mamin suggested the possibility of increasing the number of participants who open businesses, enhancing plans for microcredit and grants and growing local content. 

“These programmes are linked directly to ensuring employment of the population and this is one of the main tasks set by the head of state. We see the positive results of this work,” he said.