Unlocking Social Entrepreneurship Opportunities for Youth in Tajikistan
Suraj Nasratshoev and Sheroz Rashidbekov protype their idea
UPSHIFT teams pitch their social enterprise idea
For the last decade, the number of youth in Tajikistan who are neither employed, nor in school has been on the increase, despite favorable economic conditions.
On March 19, 2019, UNICEF Tajikistan, jointly with the Center for Additional Education under the Ministry of Education and Science, Republic of Tajikistan, partnered with Accelerate Prosperity to open an Adolescent Innovation Lab in Khorog city.
An Adolescent Innovation Lab is a creative space purpose-built for equipping youth with skills for the 21st century. Young people are engaged in social entrepreneurship education to design innovative solutions to complex challenges in their own communities.
After participating in UPSHIFT social entrepreneurship training, SurajNasratshoev and SherozRashidbekov, teenagers from Khorog,have developed a social enterprise to address the issue of inefficient water usage in their community. They have recently pitched their idea for a water switch that automatically shuts off taps after one minute, for a chance to receive a seed grant to prototype their idea.
Suraj speaks passionately about their team’s inspiration for the device, “Many people around the world survive on three gallons of water per day, or less. We use that amount in one flush of the toilet. Often, we leave water runningwhile brushing our teeth. We wanted to do something to conserve water in Khorog, in the face of increasing water scarcity, due to climate change.”
Sheroz found the UPSHIFT boot camp to be a refreshing change of pace, “We didn’tjust create our project on paper. We had the opportunity to realizeit. We learned about problem identification, designing a solution, and how to develop a work plan and budget. We combined all these skills when we prepared our presentation and pitch.”
UNICEF Tajikistan, jointly with the Ministry of Education and Science and Accelerate Prosperity, are working to reach vulnerable adolescent girls and boys, such as those in institutions, in conflict with the law, or from poor families, to instill transferable skills, entrepreneurship and digital literacy.
For more information, visit: http://navovar.tj/en/
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