I will never forget the day when I first looked into the eyes of orphans. It was in the fall of 2001 in the Almaty orphanage. I go into the box with the newly admitted children. And what I see: two kids. One was jumping in the…
“Here I am standing in front of you, looking at you - so young, ambitious and brave - and I think that among you there are no those who have broken under the pressure of society, parents who, for the most part, think linearly, from the series: “school-institute- factory-pension", "to live like everyone else, not to stick out". But among you there are those who, perhaps, the first in the generation of their family decided to go into business. You were the first to take the risk. And not because someone told you, but because you decided so.
And that is why this competition for me is about believing in yourself, about overcoming your fears and doubts. You openly go towards your fears, but not blindly, not lightly. You are ready to learn trends and introduce new directions in your business. Trust comes from knowledge and experience.
And the EY Academy of Business helps you, providing you with the opportunity to study for free.
There are none among you who, having received a promising offer to work in the American office of Google, left their homeland. But among you there are those who stayed in their country and, despite the small market, decided to build, develop and improve their business here in Kazakhstan. And for me it's about trust again. Trust in your country, your team. When I talk about this, I remember one of our 2018 finalists, Sanjar Myrzagalym with the Sheberkhana project. That's what I had in mind when telling the story about Google.
Thanks to Sanjar's initiative, Microsoft became a partner of our competition. And now, with their expertise, we have the opportunity to select the best in the IT field.
Among you there are no those who gave up, despaired, got angry, not becoming a finalist for the first and second time. But among you there are those who showed perseverance and did a lot of work on the shortcomings, improved their vision of the business and became a finalist for the third time. Realizing that every entrepreneur has a piggy bank of mistakes and disappointments, and this experience shapes his entrepreneurial path.
To be honest, I wanted to close this project more than once. But I saw the perseverance and aspirations of our contestants and understood that I had no moral right to leave them without this support. After all, perseverance feeds on trust. And we see the results: the Build Your Own Business competition has existed for 9 years, and during this time we have considered more than 5 thousand applications. We supported 80 young entrepreneurs with a total of $2,240,000.
85% of supported projects today are successful businesses. And for these 9 years, no one, conditionally, bought a car and went to warmer climes. How did this become possible? The answer is simple - an advance of trust. This is when you are believed even before you have proven that you are trustworthy.
This chain of trust was formed 9 years ago, when Alisher Yelikbaev came up with the idea of supporting startups, and he shared this idea with Kenes Rakishev, who decided to scale it up and invited Vyacheslav Kim, who, in turn, also believed in this competition. And this chain continues thanks to people like you.
And today, when you have received an advance of trust, I encourage you to continue this chain of trust! The best way to do this is to actively participate in our community of finalists, share your experience, insights, and stories. After all, you are not just recipients of money, but messengers of trust.
And even Forbes was inspired by your stories, and they have seen a lot of things.
Give advances of trust to the team, family, country. Continue this chain!