Ularkhan Chokoibaev, a young entrepreneur from Talas province, started his business this summer in his native village. Ularkhan has purchased carding equipment and now is providing services to the local population.
“This is special equipment for carding fibrous materials. It consists of drums and shafts with carding needles or serrated surfaces. In the carding process, the fibers are combed and cleaned of other bodies and are evenly distributed relative to each other. Such cards are used in almost all spinning technologies, as well as in the production of felt products,” explains Ularkhan.
The young entrepreneur has been working in this field for a long time and knows all the nuances of this process. Ularkhan says that there is another carding shop in the area left from the Soviet times, where he used to follow his mother as a child and had often waited for her in a queue in the sun. In that carding shop, the equipment is very old and, thus, works slowly. During the season, there are very long waiting lines, and this is not convenient for people who have to wait for their turn for several days. Hence the idea of opening a new similar workshop came to him. This year he decided to start a business - he bought equipment, chose a place closer to the cattle market and opened his own carding shop.
“For the last two years I have been thinking about opening a carding shop, but I didn’t know how. A grant from UNDP helped me to turn my idea into action. I was very glad that all applicants were given the opportunity to choose the type of activity that we want to do. In addition, all grantees including me were invited to various educational training, where we learned about financial literacy, what a business plan is and how to implement it. I was happy about this opportunity most of all as this is the knowledge for life and is useful in any area!" he says.
According to him, the demand for carding services is high in Talas. A carding machine for wool is an essential attribute of the spinning industry. This is especially relevant for those who keep livestock and sell wool. Moreover, Ularkhan's machine allows him to take orders for carding both wool and cotton. Both raw materials are often used by the local population: felt fabrics are made from wool, and blankets and other similar dowries for brides are made from whipped cotton. Although Ularkhan opened the workshop not long ago, he has enough clients. The advertisement sign near the cattle market helped a lot. People come to Ularkhan for services after the cattle market as his carding shop is located near it.
“Now I am working alone. I need the business go a bit and in spring I am planning to take an assistant and give a person in need an opportunity to earn money. To do so, I’ll contact the local authorities - they always have a list of those in need or those who are looking for a job. A new season of weddings will begin in spring and there will be a lot of orders again. Therefore, I am looking forward to spring." - shares Ularkhan.
“The need to develop entrepreneurship in rural areas is directed by existing social problems, such as low living standards, unemployment, as well as the crisis associated with the negative consequences of the spread of COVID-19. To improve the economic well-being of rural households, UNDP in Kyrgyzstan implements a number of projects that support the business initiatives of youth in the regions aimed at expanding their social-economic opportunities. These projects provide small grants for business startups. It is important for us that young people themselves offer their projects because they know better what exactly is in demand in their local service market. We hope that this approach will ensure the sustainability of startups on the ground,” explained
Mukash Kaldarov, UNDP Peace and Development Advisor.
The opening of Ularkhan's carding shop became possible under the UNDP project “Implementing small grants to support the initiatives of young people at risk and community members in the development of their businesses, entrepreneurship and startups to prevent and respond to the COVID-19 crisis”. The project helped to implement 18 other youth startups in rural areas of Kyrgyzstan for more than 3 million KGS ($36 thousand).