Meet the Women Entrepreneurs: Eskendir Akmaral
Eskendir Akmaral is a woman entrepreneur, based in Almaty, Kazakhstan. She is the founder of ADU24, an e-commerce platform that provides instant access to products and services throughout the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). The platform supports domestic manufacturers and promotes local Kazakhstani brands. Akmaral is one of the women entrepreneurs that have been selected to participate in the Women’s Entrepreneurship EXPO mentorship programme. On International Women’s Day 2023, we celebrate women entrepreneurs like Akmaral, who is using technology to advance her business.
One of the main benefits from participating in EXPO is learning more about digital marketing. After the bootcamps, I signed up for courses and acquired new knowledge that I can apply to my current work. All types of digital marketing that were considered during the course came in very handy for me - from analytics to the strategy of our campaigns. I studied marketing at university, but I didn’t have knowledge in the digital sphere. In mid-2017, I worked in outdoor advertising, but all the knowledge that I had at that time is outdated or has lost relevance.
One of the biggest challenges I have encountered as a woman entrepreneur is the limited access to funding. Today, businesses have expanded access to information and consulting assistance, however only a few of women-owned businesses have access to financing and loans.
The growth of women's entrepreneurship around the world has become a global trend. When you support women-owned businesses, you invest in women's economic empowerment, gender parity in trade, vibrant communities, and overall economic growth.
Thanks to the pandemic, we have seen the strength and resilience of women. The year of the pandemic showed how great the potential of women really is. But it can be quite fragile unless the governing structures of the state, financial institutions and business organizations come together to do three things: offer systemic support and programs that allow women to survive and thrive in the new reality, give them the skills to navigate the digital world, and will develop a fair, affordable financial services system that supports women's work and entrepreneurship. These investments that can bring invaluable dividends not only to women, but to society as a whole.
EXPO has provided us with a unique opportunity to showcase our startup throughout Central Asia. We have also become more familiar with new technologies to improve our business efficiency, received information about the current state of the market. This initiative has also helped us to improve our professional competencies by exchanging experiences with other similar businesses.”