Women's Business Forum and Expo - is the central focus platform that has become an annual and aimed at the mainstreaming of women's entrepreneurship not only in Tajikistan, but also in Central Asia countries.
With the continued support of the Government of Tajikistan and the Task Force Group for the Development of Women's Entrepreneurship, under the State Committee on Investments and State Property Management - the Forum and Expo attracts key players in the field of women's entrepreneurship development: from experts on the formation of legal frameworks and representatives of the largest women's business associations in Central Asian countries, to successful female business executives and those who are just starting their first steps in entrepreneurship. This year the event will be conducted on November 15-16 and followed by a two-day Expo.
Regional Women's Business Forum and Expo 2019 is based on the results of the previous years and focuses on the development of entrepreneurship in the countryside. This decision is in line with the initiative of the President of the Republic of Tajikistan to declare the years 2019-2021 - "Years of rural development, tourism and folk crafts." Thus, the work of the Forum is aimed at identifying and strengthening of women's entrepreneurship development programs in rural areas of Central Asia, through support for social entrepreneurship in tourism and handicraft.
For the past five years, the American Chamber of Commerce with the support of the U.S. Embassy in Dushanbe, Tajikistan has organized the Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW), an event held in November in 164 countries around the world. In addition, starting from November 2015, the Annual Women’s Business Forum and Expo was launched for the first time in Tajikistan. It had been led by the Taskforce on Women’s Entrepreneurship under the State Investment Committee which comprises the Government of Tajikistan and the development partners working in this field. The second Forum was held in 2016.
In 2017, with the support of the Government of Tajikistan, the Task Force decided to hold an annual Women's Business Forum and Expo. In 2018, the event took place on April 6-7 and brought together more than 200 participants from Tajikistan and Central Asian countries, as well as Afghanistan, involved in the support and development of women's entrepreneurship. The Forum raised the problems of development of women's business in the field of tourism and handicrafts, and also identified ways of joint development for improving and increasing the activity of women in business.
Thus, the Government of Tajikistan, together with development partners, supported the holding of a forum at the Regional level, in which companies led by women, business associations from Central Asia, and Afghanistan take part.
MEETING OBJECTIVE and AIMS
The overall objective of the Forum is to identify urgent problems of social entrepreneurship in the Central Asian region, the legislative framework for regulating the activities of social entrepreneurs, the exchange of best practices in the region on the development of women's entrepreneurship in the tourism and handicraft sectors in rural areas.
The goal of the forum is to support an open dialogue between the state and business, search for ways to improve women's entrepreneurship, and professional networking of women in business. Also, the aim of the event is to connect women entrepreneurs from rural areas with local and foreign investors, as well as members of the diplomatic and donor community to ensure the future assistance of these organizations. Supporting the economic empowerment of women in Tajikistan and CA region is crucial to development, peace, and security goals in the country.
The event will consist of a panel discussion with the heads of the women-led tourist and handicrafts companies of Central Asia (and, possibly, Afghanistan), the beneficiaries of donor organizations’ supported projects, separate entrepreneurship related sessions/trainings/master-classes, as well as an Entrepreneurship Expo, highlighting products produced by women in the handicraft, textile, agro-produce and IT sector.