The project “Development of Entrepreneurial Potential” is aimed at developing entrepreneurial potential among residents of the village of Kuryk, Mangistau Region. A study conducted in 2012 showed that in the village, unemployment is one of the most acute problems, especially among young people and women. Through this project, ERSAI initiates the creation of favorable conditions for local residents to encourage them to start their small business.

Before the project, the following tasks were outlined: to educate the residents of the village of Kuryk about the basics and skills of entrepreneurship, support various startup projects, and introduce craft skills as an alternative profession for women.

As a part of the project, new and established entrepreneurs alike learned how to succeed, how to minimize risks, and how to master the basics of marketing, while also familiarizing themselves with the analytical and research skills necessary to start and develop a project and ensure its sustainability. In total, 60 people were trained, having brainstormed 120 business ideas needed by the village during the trainings.

In the company's competition for the best business projects, eight winners were selected out 24 local residents; they received grants totaling 7,364,142 KZT.

As a result, thanks to the ERSAI program and EFCA, seven business projects are operating in Kuryk, which helped create 27 new jobs and successfully serve up to 300 people a day, providing services and goods unique to the village.

For example, Amandyk Myrzabekov opened the production of quail eggs at home, given the large demand for eggs in Kuryk and Aktau.

Akshagul Karymsakova, a Kuryk artisan, founded a felt factory, which she had long dreamed of doing. Karymsakova hired two oralmans for the job, and plans to employ a few more female artisans from among local residents in order to produce products from felt.

The first and only beauty salon opened in the village; previously, everyone went to Aktau for their hairstyles and manicures, but now they are turning to hairdresser-stylist Bakyt Kenzhebekova. Using the money she won, Kenzhebekova bought modern equipment and tools and gave work to five beauticians.

The only cobbler in Kuryk built his own workshop — also the first and only in the village — and hired an apprentice. Among the clients of Kairat Kikbaev are residents of the village and employees of ERSAI.

As for women's entrepreneurship, together with the Union of Kazakhstani Artisans, unemployed women are being trained in craftsmanship. The best craftspeople of the village took an active part in the National "Sheber" Craft Festival in Almaty and celebrated the 550th anniversary of the Kazakh Khanate in Shymkent, where they received a grand prize of 100,000 KZT from the Ministry of Culture and Sports of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the South Kazakhstan Region. In addition, a third of the Kuryk craftsmen were listed in UNDP curriculum for souvenir production for EXPO-2017.

Detailed results of this project can be found in this report:


The second phase of the "Boosting Entrepreneurship potential” project started in Kuryk village in 2017. In this connection two trainings were held, the first training had attendance of more than 50 people over the age of 35 and the second training had attendance of approximately 150 young people aged from 18 to 34. The main purpose of the training was to increase the financial literacy of the population and develop the entrepreneurship skills. During the training the key area studied was on the basis of effective management of family budget. Currently, the competition for business ideas has started among the habitants of Kuryk village to choose the best candidates to participate in the upcoming project.

On November 20, 2017, the deadline for the provision of business plans and video applications of registered participants was completed. In total, 31 applications were received. On December 8, 2017, the final meeting of the Commission was held in Kuryk village. The Commission included representatives of ERSAI, district akimat, NCE and Eurasia Foundation of Central Asia (EFCA).


According to the results of the competition, 3 winners were chosen:

Daniyar Murzabekov

the idea of production of plaster products

Azamat Churagulov

the idea of production toys out of wood

Duysenbay Tolepbergen

the idea of opening a fish shop

The winners of the idea contest received grants for the implementation of their ideas. During the year, young entrepreneurs will undergo various trainings on financial literacy, marketing, etc.

You can see the results of the second phase of the project in this video.

tough projects in safe hands