Tourism Gets a Green Boost from Entrepreneurs in Tajikistan

July 27, 2023
Photo: Parvin Muminov / UNDP Tajikistan

Hamza has always dreamed of running his own hunter’s house. He loves his hunter’s house in the picturesque village of Kuran, Shahrinav region, District of Regional Subordination, and he knows that the area is a popular destination for tourists. But he also knows that running a hunter’s house can be expensive, especially in a country like Tajikistan, with households not having a steady income and relatively high energy costs compared to the monthly income of families and businesses. 

Hamza's dream seemed out of reach until he heard about UNDP's Green Energy and SMEs Development project. The project provides funding and technical assistance to small businesses in Tajikistan that are interested in adopting green energy solutions. Hamza applied for the project, and he was accepted.

With the help of UNDP, Hamza was able to install solar photovoltaic (PV) panels and solar water heaters (SWH) on his roof. The solar system now provides all the electricity and hot water he needs for his guesthouse.

The solar system has been a lifesaver for Hamza. It has reduced his energy costs by more than 50% because Hamza reduced his expenditures for diesel and petrol generators and made his guesthouse more environmentally friendly. Hamza’s guests can now enjoy hot showers and lighting at any time without worrying about their carbon footprint.  

The solar system has also helped Hamza to increase his income. He can now charge more for his rooms because he can offer his guests the peace of mind that comes with knowing they are staying in a sustainable and environmentally friendly guesthouse.

Hamza is not the only entrepreneur who has benefited from the project, funded by the Global Environment Fund (GEF) and OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) implemented by UNDP. The project has helped more than 50 businesses in Tajikistan to incorporate solar technologies within their premises and daily lives.

The project is a shining example of how entrepreneurs can be agents of change and innovation in the tourism sector and beyond. By harnessing the sun’s power, they are lighting up their businesses and giving hope to other entrepreneurs.

Hamza’s story is an inspiration to entrepreneurs all over the world. He shows that it is possible to achieve your dreams, even if you face challenges. He is also a role model for other Tajikistan entrepreneurs looking for ways to start their own businesses.

Hamza is not content to rest on his laurels. He is already looking for ways to increase his clientele and add even more green energy solutions. He is also planning to start a training program for other entrepreneurs interested in adopting solar technologies.