DUSHANBE (TCA) — The second Youth Entrepreneurship Forum was held on January 17 in Dushanbe and brought together over 200 participants – young people, private sector companies, civil society, government representatives, higher education institutions, and development partners. The event, supported by the World Bank Group, celebrated youth entrepreneurship successes to date and raised awareness on the relevance of youth empowerment and capacity development for job creation and economic growth in Tajikistan, the World Bank said.
“Private sector development, as an important creator of jobs, is the foundation of the World Bank Group’s overall program in Tajikistan. Young people, as the largest segment of the population and Tajikistan’s main asset, play a key role in private sector development,” said Patricia Veevers-Carter, World Bank Country Manager for Tajikistan. “The World Bank stands ready to support the Government of Tajikistan’s efforts to put youth at the center of its development priorities, so that young people have the necessary skills and opportunities to productively contribute to the development of their country.”
The event was part of the World Bank Group-financed Central Asia Youth Empowerment and Jobs Project, which trained around 4,000 young people from various regions of Tajikistan on entrepreneurship during the past year. The project aims to provide youth with technical business skills, empower them to harness their creativity and energy, and help them transform their ideas into concrete entrepreneurship activities, through teamwork. A parallel training program targeted mid-level government officials and equipped them with the capacity to better champion and implement private sector development policies, to the benefit of youth.
The project is financed by the Equitable Growth, Finance and Institutions Vice-Presidency of the World Bank Group and is implemented in close collaboration with the State Investment and State Property Management Committee of Tajikistan and the Secretariat of Consultative Council on Improvement of the Investment Climate under the President of Tajikistan.
The Forum explored how to improve the entrepreneurship drive of Tajik youth through knowledge exchange and information sharing. The panelists discussed the evolution of the entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem in Tajikistan and the sustainability of youth entrepreneurship programs. Representatives from private companies spoke about their experiences setting up businesses and discussed what makes entrepreneurship work. The young participants explored business and entrepreneurship education opportunities offered by local institutions and civil society organizations, development partners, and local associations and companies.