In the words of Laura Vaigorova: “Creating something new is much more important than stability”


Laura Vaigorova is a 28-year-old Kazakhstani women's rights activist, entrepreneur and the founder of platform and SmarTestPrep startup. Photo credits:
Laura Vaigorova is a 28-year-old Kazakhstani women's rights activist, entrepreneur and the founder of platform and SmarTestPrep startup. Photo credits:

Laura Vaigorova is a 28 year-old entrepreneur, women’s rights activist from Kazakhstan and the founder of the “”, an online platform aiming to combat violence against women in public spaces. Laura is also the co-founder and CEO of the “SmarTestPrep”, a startup aiming to revolutionize test preparation. She was one of the mentors of the first Women's Entrepreneurship Satellite EXPO 2023 in Kazakhstan organized by UN Women. On the occasion of International Girls in ICT Day, hear from Laura why technology is crucial in addressing gender-based violence and empowering women in the digital era as well as useful tips for women entrepreneurs for women entrepreneurs in the ICT field.

“ is an interactive virtual map that shows in which locations of the city harassment occurs more often. The mission of the project is to create an environment safe from sexual harassment, stalking, catcalling, and other actions that violate human rights. When someone experiences or witnesses an incident of harassment, they can send a report through the Telegram application or to the website with details of the incident, indicating the address. After that, it will be displayed on the map. It also shows places where violence was prevented due to the quick response and concern of others. In addition to reporting cases of harassment, survivors of violence can find useful information on this website. I was inspired to create this platform in Kazakhstan by the initiative HARASSMap in Egypt, which helps girls who survived violence. Their work has led to significant reductions in sexual harassment and rape throughout Egypt.

I am also the co-founder of the startup "SmarTestPrep" - an innovative platform that embodies modern trends in the field of education and technology. Through the integration of artificial intelligence, our platform offers unique solutions for students, high schools and universities and helps students personalize their preparation, find the best educational programs and scholarships, and effectively interact with educational institutions. SmarTestPrep, like Spotify or Netflix, suggests the most suitable university and program to the user based on data from a list of 50,000 universities and scholarships. During the launch of this startup, I faced many difficulties, but at the same time, it became an incentive for growth and strengthening. We learned from our mistakes, made difficult decisions, and always strived to move forward, despite the obstacles.

I advise all women who want to launch their own ICT startup to learn to delegate and conserve resources. A common mistake many beginners make is to try to control, and often decide, everything on their own. However, this approach can lead to burnout and resource depletion. It is better to focus on strategic planning - study the market, analyze competitors, and identify customer needs. Concentrate on the quality development of your business. Invite other entrepreneurs for coffee to consult, exchange experiences and hear another point of view. Based on the experience of others, you can look at your problems from a new angle and find new solutions.

‘The eyes are afraid, but the hands are doing’ is the principle of every startup. Your own business is always stepping into the unknown. But the risk is worth it. Creating something new is much more important than stability. Always be on the move. Don't be afraid to take risks, but know how to take risks. Often in the startup world, the desire for instant success is prevalent. Many entrepreneurs hope that their ideas will instantly turn into success and profit. Startup development is a long and complex process that requires not only creative thinking and innovative ideas but also constant work and efforts”.