Women in business: success stories
A sewing workshop located in the capital has been operating for more than two years. Seamstresses here make clothing, medical gowns, masks, dowry for brides, bed sets painted with national patterns and other unique items. All shop personnel are mothers with many children, just like the workshop’s owner Alida Utarbayeva. The ‘Altyn alka’ pendant holder brings up nine kids with her husband. Despite this, the woman spends most of the time here, growing her business and helping other women to master sewing skills. The businesswoman managed to launch a small enterprise after training under the ‘Business bastau’ program.
“I’ve got a lot of work. At the moment, my husband stays at home watching our baby until the older children arrive from school. He goes to work in the afternoon. That’s how we work. I completed the training, won a grant of 200 MCI, which is 612,600 tenge (US$1,170), and bought sewing machines. And then I thought “Let’s do this” and submitted for 5 million grant (about US$9,550) free of charge. I won it, bought a sewing frame, machines, a cotton carding machine,” the businesswoman said.
Alida Utarbayeva plans to scale up her production soon, because this way she will be able to help other mothers with large families to master new skills and learn how to build their business.
“We must do everything for our children, provide them with comfort, everything they need until they get on their feet. I myself am from a large family, there are seven of us. When I was one year old, my father died. Despite this, my mother went to work. Now she is 80 years old. She worked as an accountant all her life and did not seek anything from the state. Women must be universal, God created us for this. There is no such thing that someone owes someone else, I do not like this,” Utarbayeva noted.
Marina Yelzhassova is one of the workshop’s employees. She said that she began sewing recently, and now a simple hobby has become a favorite and profitable business.
“One year after my youngest child was born, I realized that I could no longer work in my profession as a civil engineer. From that moment, I got involved in sewing, bought a small machine, and started doing the sewing business. If a woman is engaged in her business, if she finds herself in something, then she will not need anything from the state,” the seamstress added.
Alida Utarbayeva admits that special training in entrepreneurial activity, hard work and the desire to succeed by herself have become guides to a happy life for her. Now the workshop, where skillful hands of mothers with many children create the most beautiful items, receives orders not only from different parts of the capital, but also from neighboring cities.
Translation by Saniya Sakenova
Editing by Galiya Khassenkhanova