Inspiring Women into Business and Enterprise in Uzbekistan

Over 300 young women and girls improved their vocational and business skills as a result of a one-year project “Tackling gender imbalance and economic empowerment of women in Uzbekistan” delivered by URU Connect, UK in partnership with the Social Economic Development centre SABR, Samarkand City, Uzbekistan.

The training programmes included vocational training courses delivered at SABR’s Local Development Centre in Urgut and business and leadership programmes delivered in Jizzakh working with the local NGOs “HAMDARD” and MKO “Ishonch Effect Credit”.

In Urgut almost hundred women and girls completed two months vocational training courses including sewing skills, baking, computer literacy and hairdressing. Women also benefited from other services for example health checks, counselling, advocacy support and SABR’s microfinance programme. Half of the young girls and women trained in Urgut applied for microloans to open their own micro-enterprises. With the support of the programme they also developed their business plans and improved the confidence and business skills.

Three Business and Leadership two-day programmes for female entrepreneurs “Create your own business” were delivered in Jizzakh in February 2017. The programmes were developed with the support of URU Connect who also contributed to the delivery of the first run of the programme. The participants commented that it was exciting and inspirational to learn from the experience of British partners.

On 1st February 2017 an international Round Table was held in Jizzakh with the participation of local authorities, NGOs, media, representatives of the Embassy of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland in Uzbekistan, the partners from URU Connect (UK) and DVV International (Germany). The round table demonstrated achievements of the partnership work to engaged vulnerable women and girls from rural areas of Uzbekistan to gain skills and confidence to enter the employment or self-employment. The event included vocational skills master classes and concluded with the presentation of certificates to SABR’s volunteers who supported the development of the programme.

SABR is currently working towards the opening of a regional development centre in the Samarkand City to expand access of women and girls from poor families to vocational and business skills training.

Mavluda Shirinova, Director of SABR: “These achievements became possibly due to the overwhelming support and active participation of the local mahallas, khokimiyats, Departments of Education, local colleges, Women’s Committees. We would like to thank all our partners and stakeholders, who helped this project to deliver benefits for local people.”

Kath Rees MBE, Director URU Connect “We are so pleased that with the support of the British Embassy in Tashkent and Embassy of the Republic Uzbekistan in London we had the opportunity to demonstrate what can be achieved for women and by women in rural areas of Uzbekistan.”

“I have enrolled on the tailoring course at the Local development Centre with my neighbor and completed it in two months. I am grateful to my teacher, for teaching us attentively and with deep responsibility for her job. Moreover, thank to “SABR” socio-economy development center and to foreign partners, for presenting us knowledge and skills for free. Now I am sure, with set of skills and craft I can finance myself and my family.”
Khamroeva Nigina, Project Beneficiary

URU Connect, a non-governmental non-profit organization established in 2009, which provides and/or assist in the provision of services and development opportunities for the advancement of women in social life, to ensure their human rights are recognised.

The Socio-Economic Development Centre “SABR”, Uzbekistan is an independent NGO which works with and for women and children in difficult socio-economic situations, providing support, encouragement and opportunities for an independent life and safe environment. SABR’s programmes include micro-financing, counselling, provision of information and training.

Representatives of the two non-governmental, not-for-profit organisations have worked together in partnership for almost 20 years to support vulnerable women and children and promote women’s development in both countries.

Contact Details:

Kath Rees
URU Connect

Mavluda Shirinova
Social and Economic Development Centre SABR
74, Uzbekistanskaya str., 140105, Samarkand, Uzbekistan
Telephone: (998 66) 2336666
Fax: (998 66) 233 76 90