The Start Up Weekend organized today, June 26, 2015, in the city of Balykchi is designed to select candidates to the business-doing training program which will enable them to win grants to start their own business. This event was organized under the Youth Business Project which is being implemented by the Eurasia Foundation of Central Asia (EFCA) with the financial support of Kumtor Gold Company.

As part of the open competition, young people aged 20 to 28 residing on the southern coast of Lake Issyk-Kul (from Balykchi to Tiup) were asked to send applications containing a brief description of their business ideas. 215 out of 350 applications were finally selected and recognized as meeting basic criteria.

“We have received applications from young people wishing to start or expand their own business. Among basic requirements was a candidate’s capability of providing at least 15% security for the loan while his or her business was supposed to provide at least five jobs,” said an EFCA Project Manager, Nazgul Aksariyeva.

The Start Up Weekend that will last from June 26 to June 28, 2015, is the next selection stage during which every participant will be required to provide a brief description of his/her business idea and substantiate its efficiency. This will be followed by voting where young people themselves will be requested to select more promising projects.

A similar Start Up Weekend is expected to be held in July in the city of Karakol. Based on the results of both events, 60 people will be selected to undergo a training program and develop their detailed business plans under the guidance of experienced trainers. Authors of the best business plans can qualify for grants of up to $10,000 each. 15 best business projects are expected to win funding.

“I’m delighted to see that young Issyk-Kul residents have so many interesting ideas about starting their own business. Our company is always ready to support youth initiatives aimed at sustainable development of the region. I’m sure we can achieve significant results and contribute to the economic growth of the region by joint effort,” said Rodney Stuparyk, Vice President, Risk Management,Compliance and Sustainable Development.

Additionally, the Youth Business Project envisions developing employability skills and organization of traineeships in various companies for Issyk-Kul young people.