Women Entrepreneurs as Role Models for Economic Growth within Green Value Chains

October 23, 2023
Photo: UNDP Uzbekistan

UNDP jointly with the International Businesswomen Association of Uzbekistan “Tadbirkor ayol” completed a comprehensive Women Entrepreneurship Programme for more than 100 entrepreneurs of Ferghana Valley.

Acknowledging the role of women entrepreneurs as a catalyst for sustainable growth, the joint programme served as a platform for the exchange of know-how, skills and knowledge for businesswomen. Around 30 mentors, from the previous cohort of the mentorship programme and those already running successful and sustainable businesses not only delivered practical advice but also inspiration and self-confidence, which inevitably will lead to stronger motivation and action. The programme enabled creating more than 50 permanent new jobs, more importantly demonstrated a catalitical impact on the economic growth opportunities of the rural areas, especially for the women involved in the agricultural and food processing industries.

Photo: UNDP Uzbekistan

This time, the programme focused on the green value chains, and selected niche agricultural products, including processing dried fruits and vegetables with high added value and huge potential for exporting to foreign countries. These value chains have enormous opportunities for creating new jobs, and the exporting capacities of such spheres have been increasing over the years.

It was noted that the sociocultural stereotypes, barriers and norms, and the additional burden on women entrepreneurs who have dual responsibilities to their businesses and to their families, should not serve as an obstacle to nurturing new startups and business ideas.

Photo: UNDP Uzbekistan

In order to ensure the sustainability of the programme, UNDP also initiated launching of the Mentoring School for women entrepreneurs, that should serve as a knowledge exchange hub with modern infrastructure. Multimedia equipment was provided within the framework of the joint UNDP project to enhance learning facilities and experience unique exchange environment.

The UNDP project "Aid for Trade in Central Asia – Phase IV" 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.