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Interview with AUCC Chairperson Carolyn Lamm Before 2012 Uzbekistan-US Annual Business Forum
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US to help in setting up startups in Central Asia
The United States through its Agency for International Development (USAID) has announced the launch of a new initiative, “Central Asia: Region Full of Opportunities” that will be implemented by MOST Business Incubator, with the support of USAID’s Future Growth Initiative, the U.S. Embassy in Kazakhstan said on October 6.
The initiative aims to enhance economic activity in Central Asia, as well as increase the competitiveness of local information-communication-technology (ICT) firms in the global market by establishing a lively ICT ecosystem, attracting funding for startups, providing entrepreneurial mentorship, and hosting online and offline events.
“Kazakhstan, as a separate market, has been unable to attract significant interest from foreign investment. However, when considered as part of the broader Central Asian market, there are many prospective global opportunities. Another issue is that we, as neighbors, do not explore all the possibilities and opportunities that we have between each other; if we bridge this gap, we will create more regional opportunities,” said Alim Khamitov, CEO of MOST Business Incubator.
Through this initiative, USAID will launch a program to support young entrepreneurs and small-and-medium-sized businesses with the goal to remove barriers, strengthen competitiveness, spur economic activity, and increase income and new jobs creation. USAID will also launch a specially designed training program, which will include a localized Community Leaders Academy to create sustainable new businesses. The program syllabus also includes a train-the-trainer component to support local entrepreneurship and support youth and women entrepreneurs with local and international experts.