Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan—Enterprise and Innovation Programme (EIP)

Client: Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office

Duration: 2019-2023

Region: Eastern Europe and Central Asia

Country: Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan

Solutions: Economic Growth

Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan have a relatively short history of “restrained capitalism” and budding entrepreneurial culture. Shadows of the former Communist system are still evident in many areas and frail rule of law gives way to corruption and weak property rights, undermining private sector investment and business growth. As of 2018, 27 percent of Kyrgyzstan’s population and 30 percent of Tajikistan’s population still live below the national poverty line. Both countries’ economies have been adversely affected by internal and external shocks, including the economic downturn in Russia. Excessive reliance on remittances, lack of economic diversity and the slow pace of reform threaten growth. It is in the United Kingdom’s interests that these fragile states and region are supported to be successful, prosperous and stable.

The Enterprise and Innovation Programme (EIP) supports inclusive and sustainable economic growth in the countries, principally through the creation of business and innovation centres, the strengthening of company-investor linkages, the provision of market-making activities, and the improvement of the business advisory infrastructure. EIP is the UK Government’s new instrument to promote a stronger, diversified and inclusive private sector, leading to prosperity and stability in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan by increasing innovation and growth in startups and micro-, small-, and medium-sized companies (MSMEs), through the establishment of business and innovation centres and the improvement of the business advisory infrastructure.

By focusing on supporting inclusive and sustainable economic growth in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, EIP works in key business sectors that have the potential to be transformative to the countries’ economies, and are well-positioned to generate new jobs, increase household incomes, or create new economic opportunities for the poor and near-poor, women and youth, and disadvantaged communities. Working in tandem with its sister programme, the DAI-implemented Policy Innovation Facility, EIP brings about positive and impactful improvements in the ways the business sector operates at present, and will expand the horizons of economic opportunity, by being pro-poor, conducive to women’s and minorities’ economic empowerment, politically aware, and sensitive to country context, conflict and business environment.

Talks with tech startups of Kyrgyzstan.jpg

Sample Activities

  • Launch business and innovation centres in Dushanbe and Bishkek.
  • Create an online incubation technology platform.
  • Map business advisory service providers and providing tailored capacity building based on training needs assessments.
  • Facilitate direct market linkages to mobilise key actors and stimulate demand among MSMEs for business advisory services.
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