The ongoing pandemic has left its mark on all spheres of life for people and organizations, pointing to the need to accelerate change, develop new technologies, and introduce innovations. During the pandemic, there are unprecedented changes in people's lives, habits, and preferences. In turn, it has an impact on related industries. Our proposal for mitigating the consequences of the pandemic is a Startup initiative.
Startups play a vital role in the development of technologies and the promotion of innovations. At the present stage of economic growth, innovative entrepreneurship (startups) is considered to be the most significant driving force of socio-economic development.
In the year of development of the digital economy, the program to support "Startup initiatives," taking into account the pandemic will be held in a full online format for the first time. This format is an excellent practice for all participating teams and a practical step towards digitalization.
One area that will be severely affected by the pandemic will be employment, as economic relations are currently being restructured, and as the economy recovers, some jobs may disappear. Therefore, this year the "Startup initiatives" program become a platform for sharing knowledge and preparing specialists and technology projects for new economic realities, i.e., business transformation, boosting cooperation between science, education, and production.
The changing conditions and preferences of consumers during the pandemic have a severe impact on the business processes and infrastructure of enterprises and organizations, forcing them to reduce costs further and look for new ways of working to stay afloat. By establishing feedback in the form of requests for new technologies and developments, the program plans to help businesses and organizations reduce costs, digitize key business processes, and find people to solve problems.
This year the program will be organized in all regions of the Republic, Tashkent city and Karakalpakstan. It will be implemented in cooperation with the Ministry for Development of Information Technologies and Communications, IT Park and their territorial departments, the Ministry of Higher and Secondary Special Education, Ministry of Innovative Development, the Agency for Youth Affairs of Uzbekistan, "Yoshlar-kelajagimiz" Foundation, Center of youth entrepreneurship support of Uzbekistan, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Uzbekistan.
The top 40 projects across the country, based on the final results of demonstrations/presentations of their projects, will receive targeted grants of up to 50 million soums for implementing their startups (up to 3 projects from each region and up to 10 projects in Tashkent). Grants are provided by the "Yoshlar-kelajagimiz" Foundation and the United Nations Development Program in Uzbekistan with funds provided by the government of Japan.
The "Startup initiative" support program has been in existence for 5 years, and this year is being implemented within the framework of the joint UNDP and MZTO project "Promoting youth employment in Uzbekistan," funded by the Government of the Russian Federation.
Additional information about the support program, project selection criteria, and requirements for participants can be found at www.startupinitiatives.uz. Applications are accepted until September 16, 2020.
Competition announcement: 17.08.2020
Acceptance of applications: until 16.09.2020 - inclusive
Study of applications and selection: until 30.09.2020
Start of the program: from 01.10.2020
For more information about the support program: http://startupinitiatives.uz/
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