The role of mentoring in entrepreneurship: a new mentoring project for girls and women entrepreneurs was launched in the Ferghana Valley

Posted August 4, 2022
Photo: Business Women’s Association

On 14-15 July 2022, a new project on development and implementation of mentoring programs for girls and women entrepreneurs of Ferghana Valley was launched in Andijan, Namangan and Ferghana regions. This program is implemented by the Business Women’s Association together with the UNDP project "Aid for Trade in Central Asia" that is aimed at increasing the capacity of women entrepreneurs to become mentors. Trained mentors will support aspiring women and youth entrepreneurs with setting up and growing their businesses in rural areas through mentoring.

It is no coincidence that the Fergana Valley has become an object of close attention. The research work conducted by UNDP experts introduced five niche products that have the highest potential for exports and job creation. In addition, value added chains of five products - dried fruits and nuts, dried vegetables, peanuts and peanut paste, mash, jams and fruit puree - were identified. The soil fertility of this area makes possible to produce targeted environmentally friendly products.  

Photo: Business Women’s Association

Through the mentorship program, participants are expected to create new jobs in priority sectors, produce green, niche and export-oriented products with high added value.

The program will be implemented in three phases from June to October. More than 180 women and girls who expressed a desire to participate in the project took part in the first phase. The first orientation seminars were held in the form of introductions, lively discussions, exchange of experience that allowed to identify mentors and mentees, and helped the organizers to develop and improve the training program based on the experience and skills of rural women, which takes into account all the preferences and wishes of future businesswomen.

Photo: Business Women’s Association

The second phase of the project kicked off with a series of trainings in which participants were divided into groups to develop collaboration skills between mentor and mentee. Through a series of trainings to be conducted by the Association and UNDP, mentors will be able to learn the theoretical foundations and practical examples on how to conceptualize a business idea, and mentees will be able to build capacity on entrepreneurship, planning, and business development.

In a final phase, participants will actively participate in the development of business plans and the implementation of business ideas that they can present at the end of the program. The three best business plans from each region will be selected for further technical and financial support by UNDP. 

Photo: Business Women’s Association

The UNDP project "Aid for Trade in Central Asia" is funded by the Government of Finland and aims to support trade promotion, production and export capacity building of niche products in employment-intensive and potentially environmentally friendly sectors to contribute to more economically, socially and environmentally sustainable growth patterns.