Women's Entrepreneurship Exhibition held in Kyrgyzstan
On November 1-2, UN Women Kyrgyzstan hosted the “Women's Entrepreneurship Exhibition EXPO 2022 in Bishkek. At the event, over 60 women entrepreneurs from all over the country presented their products to the public and met with potential investors. The exhibition was hosted as a satellite event of the regional Women’s Entrepreneurship EXPO to be held virtually on 16-17 November.
The participants were selected from 400 applications received in September 2022. In October, the selected women entrepreneurs underwent business skills training with personal business coaches, practitioners, and professionals at Accelerate Prosperity, an investment business accelerator. The exhibition was the final event for the selected women entrepreneurs where participants could network with representatives from the private sector, financial institutions, international donors and accelerator programs.
On November 1st, women entrepreneurs showcased their goods and services at the "Bishkek Park" shopping center. On November 2nd, a business-to-business (B2B) meeting and presentations of business projects (pitches) were organized for over 40 women entrepreneurs in front of a jury and potential investors. During the two-day event, women entrepreneurs signed more than 30 agreements of intent with 20 companies and 12 investors for business development.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Alia El-Yassir, UN Women Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia, noted: “What I see here in Kyrgyzstan, is not only the strong will of these women entrepreneurs but also a strong buy-in by all of the ecosystem in support of women entrepreneurs – whether it is the government, the international community, the civil society or the state enterprises that play a crucial role.”
The event was organized by UN Women Kyrgyzstan with the support of MARY KAY Inc., and Accelerate Prosperity, a project aimed at developing entrepreneurship and improving the economic well-being of the rural population in the Kyrgyz Republic, co-financed by the European Union and the Aga Khan Foundation. The event was also supported by the USAID project “Development of Entrepreneurship and the Business Environment”, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Kyrgyz Business Women Committee at the Turkic Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Kyrgyz Economic Policy Research Institute, the Ministry of Economy of the Kyrgyz Republic, Kyrgyz Patent, Kyrgyz Industry, the Development of Women's Entrepreneurship in the Kyrgyz Republic and was held in cooperation with the Coalition to Reduce Gender Violence and the "Bishkek Park" shopping center.
Launched in 2021, the Women’s Entrepreneurship EXPO is a unique partnership platform to promote women’s entrepreneurship ecosystem building in the Europe and Central Asia region. EXPO provides an interactive space for women entrepreneurs, investors and private sector representatives for networking and collaboration, peer learning, ideas generation, capacity building and business development. EXPO 2022 is organized by UN Women Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia in partnership with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Yıldız Holding as part of the Women’s Entrepreneurship Accelerator supported by Mary Kay. Learn more and register.