Arslan Jorayev, National Consultant on Youth Entrepreneurship of the project “Strengthening Community Resilience and Regional Cooperation to Prevent Violent Extremism in Central Asia”


UNDP: Why did you decide to work on employment issues??

Arslan Jorayev: Most of my previous work experience was related to youth, building and managing volunteer teams. It was this experience that revealed to me the positive aspects of working with young people: constant drive, restless enthusiasm and desire to achieve my goals. Working on this project, I had the opportunity to penetrate even deeper into issues relevant to young people, the most important of which is employment. Working in a team with project colleagues, we were able to test various approaches, techniques and possible solutions to this issue. Perhaps this was the main reason for participating in the project, in other words, the desire to be involved in the work to support young people - our future, on which the future of our country will depend.

UNDP: Tell us about your most vivid memories in the implementation of this project

Arslan Jorayev: I have the most vivid memories associated with the implementation of this project during the trainings on development of entrepreneurial skills and round tables. We invited practicing and successful entrepreneurs in the key cities of the project to these events as experts. So, after meeting with young start-upers, I talked with invited experts in Turkmenabat and Dashoguz. They expressed their genuine surprise and pride in the fact that young people asked very interesting and tricky questions, which, however, made the experts think that with such young people we should not worry about the future. They will be able to cope with all, even “ambitious” projects. It is not surprising that after such meetings, experienced entrepreneurs left their contact details and offered all the guys help.


UNDP: In your opinion, what conditions are necessary for young people to do business?

Arslan Jorayev: In order to give youth the opportunity to do business, we need to achieve the following:

  • to learn to trust young people, i.e. we must form public opinion that young people are able to make and implement interesting business projects, not trusting young people, we will only lower the motivation of guys, we should never forget that we were all young people once;
  • to make the business registration procedures as easy as possible, especially in matters of self-employment, since it is from this that many large business projects start;
  • to digitalize all stages of business management, from registration to filing reports on financial activities, you need to create an infrastructure, and young people, believe me, will figure it out on their own;
  • actively inform young people about opportunities for employment in the business sphere, conduct special training events, online master classes, create online information platforms;
  • to continue to realize programs to support youth employment, expand it whenever possible, introduce a special system of financial support for start-ups and benefits (tax, as well as simplified reporting);

UNDP: Is self-employment the only option for unemployment?

Arslan Jorayev: I do not think that only self-employment can solve the issues of youth employment, probably, it will be a subjective view of reality. Employment is a very important and comprehensive issue. However, self-employment is one of the most acceptable and most effective tools for solving youth employment issue. After all, it is self-employment that can help young people take their first conscious step and find themselves, it will motivate young people to take an action, and not just expect support. I think that the peculiarity of the implementation of self-employment support programs should be aimed at supporting initiatives and stimulating development, providing assistance to the self-employed to enter the legal field and thereby feel themselves socially protected citizens.

UNDP: From your experience, do start-ups really compete with mature businesses?

Arslan Jorayev: The peculiarity of start-ups is mostly in a non-standard approach to the implementation of their projects. A well-developed business, in turn, cannot always quickly restructure, which makes it possible for stat-ups to compete with it. Often, young start-ups very quickly grow into large business structures, just because they bring innovations, use new modern marketing and management tools, such as social media marketing, CRM systems and electronic business management platforms.

UNDP: What would you advise to young people who do not yet know if they should start a business?

Arslan Jorayev: I would give the following tips to young people:

  • If you have an idea, even if it seems awkward to someone, do not give it up. The idea is yours and only you can decide its fate. Having refused to implement your business idea, perhaps you will always regret that you did not try to do it;
  • Starting a business, you must understand that this is a responsibility. First of all, in front of yourself, then in front of the state, partners with whom you work and colleagues. It is impossible not to think about it, your serious attitude to responsibility will speak about the seriousness of your intentions in achieving success in business, if you accept this and the people around you will also take your business seriously;
  • Do not be afraid to look inexperienced, most of us are surrounded by good people, you just need to properly contact them for help, and believe me, they will help and support you, share knowledge or necessary information;
  • Don't be discouraged even if the first steps are not very successful and / or unsuccessful. All successful people have always started somewhere and passed tests, took the "first steps", fell and rose. Experience is the result of previous mistakes.

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