AWE Program Unleashes Economic Potential for Kazakh Women

ASTANA – Kazakhstan’s 130 women entrepreneurs participated in the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) program, initiated by the United States Department of State in 2021. This program provides women with opportunities to realize their economic potential, contributing to the creation of a more stable, safe, and prosperous society.

Alida Alimbetova presented her works to U.S. Consul General Michelle Yerkin. Photo credit: AWE program’s press service.

Aimed at empowering women entrepreneurs by equipping them with essential skills, knowledge, and resources, the AWE program has become a crucial support system for women looking to establish and expand their businesses. Operating in over 80 countries, the program has already impacted nearly 16,000 women, offering vital skills and fostering connections for business initiation and growth.

Yerzhan Ashikbayev, Kazakhstan’s ambassador to the U.S., emphasized the pivotal cultural and political roles women have played in the country’s history. He believes that the AWE program will encourage the economic empowerment of participating women by providing business opportunities and knowledge. 

Ashikbayev expressed appreciation for the U.S. Government’s global efforts to advance women’s empowerment and anticipated aligning efforts to promote gender equality and opportunities in Kazakhstan and the entire region through joint projects.

Zhamilya Turumkozhayeva received a grant from Coca-Cola Kazakhstan. Photo credit: AWE program’s press service.

This year, the program focuses on alumni engagement. Nazgul Nassiyeva, a program participant, secured a Coca-Cola grant and participated in the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) as an AWE alumna, experiencing substantial growth in language proficiency, professional acumen, and global networking.

Laura Lau, another alumna with two higher education degrees, including an MBA, transitioned from project management and wholesale trade to entrepreneurship. Her venture, TeenWin, offers a comprehensive career guidance program to help teenagers select professions and develop skills.

Alida Alimbetova specializes in children’s printed goods—coloring books, stickers, and puzzles, all infused with national themes. A Coca-Cola grant empowered her to expand her business, acquire cutting-edge equipment, and enhance her printing enterprise.

Zhamilya Turumkozhayeva founded Assyl Mura, a social sewing workshop producing culturally infused clothing and products. Beyond the workshop, she established the Assyl Mura Almaty Public Foundation, enriching the community with sewing and needlework lessons while offering employment assistance. With the support of the Coca-Cola grant, she expanded her home-based enterprise into a 120-square-meter workshop, acquiring a printer, enhancing the sewing workshop, and creating a distinctive logo for the Assyl Mura brand, reinforcing its identity in the market.

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