From Design Thinking to the new entrepreneurs’ club in Kyrgyzstan

A networking event for the new graduates from Kyrgyzstan took place on 13 and 14 December in Bishkek. The varied programme included a review of the successful collaborations between the Programme participants and German companies. Based on their experiences, initial ideas were also developed for the further networking of the Kyrgyz former Programme participants.

In his virtual welcome speech, Ulrich Niemann, who is responsible for the programme in the Foreign Trade and Investment Policy Department of the BMWK, emphasised that the new look of the Programme with a new name and logo should help to reach even more companies in the partner countries and Germany. The Programme also wants to open up even more than before to new industries of the future, such as green technologies, and jointly promote networking.

Participants of the panel discussion: Constantin Zelenty, Begimai Toktorbaeva, Temir Sariev ©GIZ/Askat Chynaly

On the panel discussion, Constantin Zelenty from the German Embassy talked about the benefits of the programme for both countries together with Begimai Toktorbaeva, Head of Department at the Kyrgyz Ministry of Economy and Trade, and Temir Sariev from the local Chamber of Industry and Commerce. The three panellists shed light on the development of German-Kyrgyz economic relations from different perspectives and agreed that bilateral economic relations have developed well in recent years, but that the potential is far from exhausted. The Partnering in Business with Germany Programme offers very good opportunities for business contacts and cooperation between German and Kyrgyz companies, particularly in the food industry, light industry, construction and healthcare sectors.

Nasyikat Ysmaiylova, Managing Director "Nomad Store" ©GIZ/Askat Chynaly

The positive impact of the Programme on the development of business and economic relations between Germany and Kyrgyzstan in practice was demonstrated by former Programme participants from 2022 and 2023, including a group of female entrepreneurs who presented their business projects and received certificates for successfully completing the Programme. One of the participants, Makhmut Susuzov, Head of Department at Alliance Product, spoke about his successes at the event. Thanks to Partnering in Business with Germany, he came into contact with Werner & Mertz GmbH and built up a business relationship over the following months. The first delivery of ecological cleaning products of the Frosch brand is already on the supermarket shelves in Bishkek and has met with great interest from customers.

Handing over the certificates to the participants of the 2022/23 groups ©GIZ/Askat Chynaly

One concrete result of the networking event was the establishment of an alumni community. The workshop on "Design Thinking" inspired the entrepreneurs to develop the concept for an entrepreneurs' club. The managing director of Nomad Store, Nasyikat Ysmaiylova, was enthusiastic about the idea: "The idea of an entrepreneurs' club is timely. By participating in this Programme, we are connected through shared experiences and cultivate our relationships with each other. We are already helping each other and exchanging ideas on a wide range of topics. And we want to expand our circle."

Photo gallery copyright: ©GIZ/Askat Chynaly