Value creation within Kazakhstan's Entrepreneurial Ecosystem: Towards an Understanding of Informal and Formal Entrepreneurs

  • Yousafzai, Shumaila (PI)
  • Akemu, Onajomo (Co-PI)
  • Atanu, Rakshit (Co-PI)
  • Durrani, Naureen (Co-PI)
  • Bissenova, Alima (Co-PI)
  • Ghosh, Anjan (Co-PI)
  • Nurbayeva, Alua (Other Faculty/Researcher)
  • Lipovka, Anastasia (Other Faculty/Researcher)
  • Henry, Colette (Other Faculty/Researcher)
  • Bhartiya, Tarun (Other participant)
  • Saeed, Saadat (Other Faculty/Researcher)
  • Fayolle, Alain (Other Faculty/Researcher)
  • Cornelissen, Joep (Other Faculty/Researcher)

Project: Monitored by Research Administration

Project Details

Grant Program

Collaborative Research Program for 2022-2024

Project Description

Human capital development, (HCD) in the form of entrepreneurial training and education, has been consistently shown to increase the prevalence of new ventures by providing skills required for setting up a new venture; advancing the cognitive competence to recognize opportunity, and positively affecting a person’s confidence in performing a particular task, aiding entrepreneurial intentions and actions (Honig 2004). While, female entrepreneurs have lower selfconfidence in their entrepreneurial abilities, they are more positively affected by training interventions than men (Oosterbeek et al. 2010). We believe that the sharing and spillover of knowledge in the local environment will positively affect the prevalence of entrepreneurship, opportunity recognition and exploitation among female entrepreneurs.
Against this background, the overarching objectives of our proposed project are:
1. To understand from the bottom up how formal (technology entrepreneurs) and informal entrepreneurs (female
entrepreneurs) in Kazakhstan actually start and sustain enterprises;
2. To highlight the impact of entrepreneurial activity by both types of entrepreneurs;
3. To develop an evidence-based framework for advancing a supportive EES in Kazakhstan; and
4. To enhance the HCD of formal and informal entrepreneurship educators and mentors in Kazakhstan
In implementing this project, our aim is to propose actions, recommendations and policy interventions for employing entrepreneurship and HCD as a sustainable conduit for improving Kazakhstan’s economy and well-being. In doing so, we hope to promote a holistic, gender-just perspective among Kazakhstan’s strategic planning circles about the HCD gaps and socio-economic contribution of entrepreneurs. Representing the various geographic, economic and demographic characteristics of Kazakhstan, we have chosen six cities as our project locations: Nur-Sultan, Almaty, Shymkent, Aktobe, Semey, Pavlodar. We will achieve our objectives in the following ways:
1. Establishment of an Interdisciplinary Entrepreneurship Research Center. We propose to establish “Nazarbayev University Research Centre for Entrepreneurship” (NURCE) at the Graduate School of Business (GSB). The center will be the node for establishing research-led collaboration between GSB and entrepreneurship faculty at leading Kazakh and international institutions: Erasmus University (TheNetherlands), Durham University (UK), Dundalk Institute of Technology, (Ireland); Copenhagen Business School (Denmark); Narxoz University (Kazakhstan), Kazakh British Technical University (Kazakhstan) and Institute of Business Administration (Pakistan). The center will continue to facilitate collaboration, beyond the duration of this project, with external stakeholders, academic partners at other universities and community and private sector researchers; the center will also be responsible for the dissemination of this project. In addition, the center will further provide a platform to train graduate and post graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and entrepreneurship educators.
2. Establish a baseline of needs within Kazakhstan’s EES. We will engage with entrepreneurs and stakeholders, such as chambers of commerce, incubators, and universities, to assess the skill gaps and training needs of entrepreneurship trainers within Kazakhstan’s EES.
3. Effectuation-based capacity-building training. Drawing on the logic of effectuation (Sarasvathy, 2001), one of the novel entrepreneurship theories, and in partnership with the Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi, we will develop an inquiry-based curriculum (Kazakh and Russian) to deliver effectuation-based capacity-building training to sustainably contributes to HCD in Kazakhstan.
4. Compile case studies of Kazakh entrepreneurs
Effective start/end date1/1/2212/31/24


  • Kazakhstan, Economic Prosperity, Entrepreneurship, Women's Entrepreneurship, Technology Entrepreneurship, Gender Equality


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