The green growth concept for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals is one of the key priorities for the Central Asian states. Under the new Green Deal, the EU member-states demonstrate an outstanding example of setting circular economy targets and helping businesses and consumers in transition to economies with minimal waste and maximum economic efficiency. Therefore, this year the International Green Business School "Eco-Talk" puts a special emphasis on studying the successful experience of EU countries with the support of the WECOOP project.
Promoting the development and capacity-building of social and environmental entrepreneurship, especially among youth, is the most effective way to achieve environmental goals. The young generation initiates the largest number of promising innovative ecologically sound ideas that increase production efficiency. Innovations and green entrepreneurship also provides a unique opportunity for young people’s employment and economic independence.
The International Green Business School "Eco-Talk" was initiated to facilitate a better generation of eco-business ideas among young people and their relationship with interested stakeholders at a larger scale to address pressing issues on environmental sustainability.
How it all started?
The first Eco-Talk pilot was conducted in 2018, led by the Kazakh-German University (DKU) as a pioneer in building youth and knowledge networks on environmental issues in Kazakhstan. This experience demonstrated, among others, the importance of collaboration among different sectors and disciplines including economics, finance, marketing, science and communications.
Over the three years of the project’s existence (2018-2020), 74 applications were received from different parts of Central Asia, out of which 11 best project teams have gone through an intensive training program and were awarded grants, and 20 teams are currently going through an extensive training (September-December 2020).
In 2020, applicants received a series of preliminary practical training webinars on business idea design and significantly improved the quality of their business idea descriptions. 26 participants were selected to study at the Green Business School, out of which 20 teams remained active and took part in the training. By country these are: 12 young entrepreneurs from Kazakhstan, 4 from Kyrgyzstan, 1 from Tajikistan, 1 from Turkmenistan, and 2 from Uzbekistan. The training includes course units on business modeling and consultations on environmental dimensions, such as circular economy, water technologies and renewable energy sources.
Also the 3 Eco-Talk winners of 2019 are currently in the final stage of grant management and are successfully implementing their business projects.
What’s our goal?
The International Green Business School "Eco-Talk" is a training program for young entrepreneurs of Central Asia willing to develop their eco-business ideas from scratch or make their existing businesses more environmentally friendly.
What do we seek for?
1) To increase the attractiveness and awareness of the green business among young entrepreneurs in the region;
2) To train young entrepreneurs on the key business development and operation skills;
3) To provide the tools and support for effective start-up of business activities.
What’s our vision?
The International Green Business School "Eco-Talk" aims to promote environmental and social entrepreneurship among young people in Central Asia and Afghanistan by providing an influx of innovative environmental ideas to improve business sustainability and improve the welfare of society as a whole.
Who is supporting us?
The project is managed by the Kazakh-German University (DKU), Almaty, with the support of private and international donors such as “European Union – Central Asia: Water, Environment and Climate Change Cooperation” (WECOOP) (in 2020), Central Asian Youth for Water Network (CAY4W), International Secretariat for Water Canada (ISW), and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) (in 2019-2020), and Chevron (in 2018).
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