Tajikistan: Launching a Start-up Promotion Project

PEM Consult in cooperation with ICON Institute and CEFE International launched the Start-up Promotion Component of the TRIGGER II program on behalf of GIZ in Tajikistan. Within the frame of the Dushanbe Economic Meeting on 28th and 29th November 2019 the project was introduced to a wider public.

The Start-up Promotion project focussing Dushanbe and Khujand Regions of Tajikistan aims to transform business ideas into market-oriented business models. Potential founders should be encouraged to become entrepreneurs. In the medium to long term, the aim is to improve the support offered to start-ups in Tajikistan. In detail, the task comprises the following activities:

Selection of implementation partners: In order to achieve high sustainability, to strengthen the capacities of key political and implementation actors in the country and to create the conditions necessary for the sustainable anchoring, all key activities will be carried out together with selected local implementation partners.

Awareness and Start-up Events: There is a general lack of entrepreneurial spirit in Tajikistan. A targeted, gender-sensitive awareness campaign is therefore important.

Boot camps: Within the framework of boot camps, selected potential entrepreneurs develop or further develop business ideas as well as receive a basic course in the area of Entrepreneurship and Start-up. Specific needs of female founders must be explicitly addressed.

Incubator program: An incubator programme is to be carried out in parallel in Dushanbe and Khujand. During the 3-month incubator programme training courses for the start-ups will be offered by business trainers as well as workplaces with internet access and supervisors are available for the founders.

The exact contents of the courses will be based on the requirements of the target group. However, particular attention will be paid to formats that facilitate access to financing (financial readiness training). Contact with banks and financing institutions will be established during the training phase. It will also be examined to what extent digitisation approaches can be included in the incubator programme

Pitching events:  At the end of each incubator phase, a closing event will be held. This will include company presentations (pitches) or matchings with potential investors as well as banks and financing institutions.

Additional mentoring: Tajikistan currently does not have a Mentorship or Business Angel Network, so that a mentoring programme shall be introduced. The objective is to achieve 15-20 to select innovative start-ups that have the technical or entrepreneurial potential (scalable business model) to create jobs and can be taken as model companies. PEM Consult will therefore develop and implement a concept based on international best practices that can be implemented efficiently with regard to the general conditions in Tajikistan.

The project has a duration of 1.5 years and will be implemented by an international and national expert team located in Dushanbe and Khujand. We keep you informed.