In the mountainous Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region (GBAO) of Tajikistan, businesses ravaged by the COVID pandemic have found new hope in the opening of the Khorog Center for Entrepreneurship (KCE).

The Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) notes that established by the University of Central Asia’s School of Professional and Continuing Education (UCA-SPCE), the Center is providing advice, training and support to generate income and promote market development for small business leaders and farmers in the region.  It is part of Tajikistan’s Local Economic Development in Selected High-Mountain Regions Project.

The pandemic has significantly impacted global economic conditions, and the monthly earnings of individual entrepreneurs have declined by 54 percent in GBAO. To help people emerge from this challenging situation, KCE is introducing new and innovative ways to build and support highly competitive businesses, regional brands and business linkages by bringing together startups, business consultants and investors from the region and around the world.

Established with the generous support of Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusamdmenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and the Aga Khan Foundation, the Khorog Center for Entrepreneurship is part of the ongoing efforts of the Tajik government and UCA to promote the development of young people.

Mrs. Sabine Olthof, Country Director of GIZ, remarked at the Center’s opening ceremony:  “One idea that I personally like very much is the establishment of a Credit Union of Alumni under the Center for Entrepreneurship to support new emerging and existing businesses.”