Social Entrepreneurship Seminars Held in Central Asia to seek Change the World Around You! Contest Applications

Date: 04 December 2013
Other languages: Русский язык |
The University of Central Asia’s School of Professional and Continuing Education (UCA-SPCE) held a series of social entrepreneurship seminars for youth across the Kyrgyz Republic and Kazakhstan from 4 to 21 November 2013. 
The seminars launched the second phase of the Change the World Around You! competition, a UCA initiative implemented with funding from the Coca-Cola Foundation and Company. 
Change the World Around You! encourages young people to submit proposals for social entrepreneurial projects to address challenges in their communities. Qualifying participants receive training in social entrepreneurship and winning proposals receive seed funding to implement their project. 
Facilitated by UCA instructors, the seminars enabled participants to understand social entrepreneurship and appreciate successful social entrepreneurship experiences in Central Asia and globally.
Students in Taldykorgan, Kazakhstan explore ideas on social entrepreneurship
Participants discussed the key social issues within their communities, proposed solutions and then developed applications for the Change the World Around You! competition. Throughout November, seminars were held in Karakol, Naryn, Batken, Osh, Jalal Abad, Talas and Bishkek in the Kyrgyz Republic. In Kazakhstan, seminars were held in Almaty, in cooperation with the International Academy of Business, and in Taldykorgan.
Youth with the best social entrepreneurship proposals will be selected to attend social entrepreneurship training at UCA in Bishkek. Twenty participants from the Kyrgyz Republic and fifteen from Kazakhstan will be chosen. 
Following the training, participants will present their proposals to a panel of judges who will choose the winning business plans. There will be six proposals selected from the Kyrgyz Republic and five from  Kazakhstan. Winners will receive grants of between $2,000 to 2,500 to implement their projects.
Students brainstorm social entrepreneurship ideas in Talas, Kyrgyz Republic
Last year, winners of the inaugural Change the World Around You! competition implemented ideas ranging from creating employment opportunities for rural students to building wheelchair accessible ramps at public buildings. 
“UCA is pleased to build on the success of Change the World Around You! to further involve Kyrgyz youth and now to extend our reach to Kazakhstan. Last year’s winners set a high standard and are making a huge difference in their communities. We await exciting innovative ideas from youth in this second phase,” said Gulnara Djunushalieva, Director, SPCE.
The application deadline for the Change the World Around You! competition is 18 December 2013. Kyrgyz and Kazakh nationals, aged 19-28, with innovative ideas to solve problems in their communities are encouraged to apply. Application forms are available at:
For more information, please visit
The ‘Change the World!’ Contest
The ‘Change the World!’ contest is implemented by the University of Central Asia with support from the Aga Khan Foundation and in partnership with the International Academy of Business (Kazakhstan). The social entrepreneurship contest and projects are funded by The Coca-Cola Foundation and The Coca-Cola Company under the “Empowering Youth for Socioeconomic Development in the Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, and Afghanistan” project. Phase I was launched in July 2012 in the Kyrgyz Republic with nine winners receiving grants of up to $3,000 to implement social entrepreneurship projects in their communities. Phase II is currently underway in the Kyrgyz Republic and Kazakhstan.

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