The National Association of Business Women of Tajikistan (NABWT) has announced the winners of the Farah 2018 Woman Entrepreneur of the Year competition.

According to the U.S. Embassy in Dushanbe, Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy of the United States Kevin Covert participated in presenting diplomas and prizes to the winners, and the competition’s general sponsor IMON International awarded 100,000 Tajik somoni to the grand prize winner.

The nationwide competition began in March of this year and attracted 407 women entrepreneurs and artisans from across the country to participate.  A committee comprised of independent experts on entrepreneurship, economics and finance, shortlisted 94 applicants to advance to the next round of competition. The expert committee then, after a detailed study of the entrepreneurial activities of each participant, engaged in telephone interviews and visits to each participant’s business site, finally selecting 34 semi-finalists to further compete for awards in six business categories.

The six winners are Lutfiya Mamadkarimova (production), Rano Mahmoudova (services and catering), Karomat Ashourmatova (handicrafts/fashion/design), Zulaikho Tilloyeva (agriculture), Umeda Gadoiboyeva (medical and educational services), and Mavjouda Jumayeva (start-up business).   

Zulaikho Tilloyeva won the Grand Prize.   

The success stories of all semi-finalists will be published in the magazine Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award – Farah 2018.  Additionally, short documentaries about each of the 34 semi-finalists are currently being broadcast on local and national TV stations.

Before the award ceremony, the National Association of Business Women of Tajikistan arranged master classes and networking meetings for all contest participants as well as an exhibition of artisan products.  The entrepreneurs will continue their cooperation with NABWT after the competition to further improve their skills and abilities in running businesses, and will serve as coaches to encourage youth in entrepreneurship.