The Entrepreneurship Training Center for sewing in Chaek village of Narin oblast recently started operating. The center not only teaches low-income families to sew, but also how to sell their products and run successful businesses. The center was established by the “Creating conditions for improving economic livelihood of low-income families” project, implemented by the foundation “Daanyshman Zhumgal kabary” and funded by the EFCA and the Embassy of the Netherlands in Kazakhstan.
“During trainings, I learned how to take credit, where and how to buy fabric and furniture, how to sell products, how to get government licenses, and how to pay taxes,” says Nurzhan Sunaiyldaeva. She is a housewife receiving training at the center. “I’ve learned to cut a pattern and to use a sewing machine. I can cut out easy things. After graduating I am planning to open a small sewing workshop at home. I think we’ll start off with village client orders, and then try to expand within the district or even oblast.”
Nurzhan is 27 years old. She is married and raising three school-age children. She has never worked before because she only has a high school diploma. Her husband does maintenance work at a school. He earns only 2000 som (about 55 US dollars) per month for his hard work. This money is hardly enough to meet basic needs of their family, and not enough for clothing or high-quality food. After Nurzhan’s sewing classes the household income has increased noticeably. She now makes 3000 som (about 83 US dollars) per month.
“The sewing center has become popular beyond our village borders. Local government officials were among the first to appreciate our work,” says Project Manager Zhaparbek Dopoev. The foundation “Daanyshman Zhumgal kabary” received an “Examplary NGO” award in a local “Pride of Village” contest for contributing to village socio-economic improvement. Muratbek Muktarbekov, head of the District Education Department, noted at the award ceremony: “This center is the first business incubator in the district since the breakup of the Soviet Union, and the first to provide professional trainings. It’s a big achievement for our country”.
The center currently trains fifteen people from Chaek village. All are planning to open private enterprises to earn money doing enjoyable work, just like Nurzhan.