The Student Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Programme from Eurasian Resources Group
The Student Entrepreneurship Ecosystem programme was launched by Eurasian Resources Group (ERG) three years ago, as part of the leading diversified natural resources group’s commitment to sustainable development and support for local communities. The achievements and results of the programme were announced at a dedicated youth forum held in Kazakhstan.
Kazakhstan is home to a large proportion of ERG’s operations and the company is 40% owned by the Kazakhstan government. Attendees of the youth forum event included Mr Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, along with senior members of the Board of Directors at ERG.
The Student Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Programme
More than 5,000 students have accessed and completed training on start-up development and business entrepreneurship courses through the Student Entrepreneurship Ecosystem programme, coming from one college and nine universities in the regions where ERG operates in Kazakhstan.
The programme is implemented in partnership with the Almaty Management University and Tel-Aviv University Friends Association, launched as a long-term project by Eurasian Resources Group. As a result of the programme, dozens of new ventures have been launched, and hundreds of business ideas developed.
Chairman of the Board of Directors at ERG, Dr Alexander Machkevitch, describes the programme as a unique corporate initiative, creating opportunities for young graduates to create future employment and make their mark on the business community. The vehicle helps to improve the quality of life for many local communities by stimulating entrepreneurship.
A series of innovative new business ideas were announced at the youth forum event, developed and generated by the 144 current participants in the programme. These ideas included heated ‘smart’ insoles for shoes, a new white cane providing navigational assistance features for the blind, and magnetic zippers to help people living with motor disabilities. A new start-up concept was also spearheaded by ERG called Trackathon, which featured a smart wristband for earphones, an arm prosthesis that is voice-operated, and a new type of movement-powered mobile phone charger.
The winning team from 2018 was also featured at the event, having received a grant for their invention of a chemical formula to be applied to shoe sponges designed specifically to clean dirt and stains from white trainers and soles. The commercial production launch for this product is planned for summer 2019. Dr Machkevitch commented on the continuing pride felt at ERG for instigating the Student Entrepreneurship Ecosystem programme, which aims to inspire and stimulate the next generation as well as help to make home regions more sustainable.