SUPPORT FOR BEGINNERS

Startups are becoming a common practice to support youth initiatives in Uzbekistan. Today, such projects are carried out by various ministries and agencies.

The concept of "startup" is increasingly consolidated in the national business environment and widely used in the activities of state bodies. The introduction of innovative projects allows us to solve economic problems, create new jobs and boost the living standard of the population with low expenditure of material resources. Activating innovative capacity is a task that is successfully being solved in many countries by creating the necessary infrastructure and involving young people. It should be noted that Switzerland, Sweden, Great Britain, the USA, Finland, Singapore are leading in the ranking of the Global Innovation Index of 2016. This is evidenced by the "Global Competitiveness Report" of the World Economic Forum (WEF) which characterizes key indices of the competitiveness of economies of more than 138 countries based on innovative development.

Today, the startups are actively being introduced in our country and increasingly enjoying popularity among young people. This is testified by the "Support program for youth startup initiatives" launched in early March 2017 and covering all universities in Uzbekistan.

The main goal of the Agency's three-month program on science and technology and the UNDP project "Business forum of Uzbekistan (Phase 3)" is the passage under the guidance of experienced mentors from the business idea to its realization. Thus, students are becoming more aware of the practical possibilities of organizing their own business at the lowest cost, acquiring entrepreneurial skills with an emphasis on the innovation.

Worth noting is that in the program in 2016, only 13 out of 90 teams managed to reach the finals. However, most of them, under certain circumstances, failed to attract the necessary funding for the implementation of their projects. Only six finalists have found investors and are negotiating for the cooperation.

In 2017, more than 1,000 students applied for the program. The largest number came from the students and teachers of the Tashkent Institute of Information Technology (11%), the University of World Economy and Diplomacy (10.9%), Tashkent Agrarian University (10%).

The scope of the project areas was turned out to be very wide, but the most popular areas were e-commerce, education, communication and navigation technologies, transport and road infrastructure, as well as medicine and biotechnology.

Based on the results of the program, in order to receive preferential loans and support from sponsor organizations the successful start-up projects will have the opportunity to present them at the closing event, as well as at the next Republican fair of innovative ideas, projects and technologies.

In the second cycle of the program, emphasis will be placed on supporting the practical implementation of sel ected start-ups. Experts will assist in testing the value of proposals, hypotheses, design, software and search for sales channels, and answer the legal questions.

Another similar initiative of the Ministry of Labor, the Ministry of Higher and Secondary Special Education, commercial banks – the weeks of competitive selection of business projects for the graduates of professional colleges and higher educational institutions, in other words - "Startup-weeks" of innovative ideas will be conducted in early summer in all regions of the country.

It is expected that the representatives of the republican and regional government bodies, commercial banks, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and businesses will be involved in the event. They are called upon to provide financial, information and consulting assistance to the graduates of the professional colleges and universities of the country to start their business. It is noteworthy that the universities of regional centers will be the venue for such events.

Based on the results, the authors of promising projects will be selected. Representatives of commercial banks and potential investors will carry out working meetings with them to start financing. In addition, the initiators of the best projects are awarded valuable prizes and certificates fr om the organizers of the event. It is planned to conduct targeted monitoring of the implementation and financing of approved projects.

“Jahon” Information Agency

 

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