Startups in the CAREC Region
                                                                      November Edition

Dear friends & partners,
This is the November edition of the monthly newsletter on initiatives relating to startup ecosystems in the CAREC region. The newsletter, which is prepared by the CAREC Secretariat, highlights relevant developments on startups and related sectors such as information and communication technologies and digital transformation.

We welcome you to share activities from your organization to be included in this newsletter. The newsletter is shared with various institutions across the CAREC region, including organizations in the private sector, government agencies, multilateral banks, media outlets, non-governmental agencies, and others.

Energy Efficiency Innovation Challenge 

This start-up competition is part of Central Asia’s Energy Investment Forum 2021: Investing in Energy Efficiency. The forum will take place on 2 December 2021 and is Central Asia’s flagship event to enable private investments in the energy sector. Register for the forum here.

If you have an innovative business idea or solution that can contribute to lowering energy consumption, reducing energy bills at the household or industrial level, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, creating jobs, or reducing demand for energy imports, Energy Investment Forum (EIF) wants to hear from you!

The deadline for applications is 1 November 2021 at midnight Manila time. 

Agritech Entrepreneurs Aim to
Empower Farmers through ‘Digital Dera’ Platform

A group of young Pakistani Agritech entrepreneurs has introduced an initiative called ‘Digital Dera’ which aims to empower farmers in the latest technological solutions. This is aimed to enhance the agriculture sector in the remote parts of Pakistan’s Punjab area.

Digital Dera is currently providing services to more than 2,000 farmers in numerous villages and remote areas where fertile land is available. The startup aims to further its network in numerous regions.

The unique fact about Digital Dera is that the founders had established this right in the middle of a farming community giving a profound value overall.

For details please follow this link

IT Students Present New Innovative Projects at
Eco-hackathon Competition in Almaty

The Eco Hackathon competition, organized by the Delegation of the European Union to Kazakhstan on September 25-26 in Almaty, gathered around 70 Kazakh IT students and specialists to allow them to develop the best clean tech solutions for resolving climate issues. 

They also received the assistance of technical industry and business experts, learned from the experience of successful start-up founders, and had training on waste management and recycling.

Among the 12 projects submitted at the Eco-hackathon, the jury selected the three best teams: the Farmer team, the Lio team and the Eco-menu team. The Eco-hackathon winners will get a study trip to Estonia this autumn to learn about the European experience in IT and start-ups.

For details please follow this link

Promoting Social Entrepreneurship and Community Welfare, STEP Awards $30,000 to Social Startups in Pakistan

Entrepreneurship and Youth Development Society (EYDS) along with Phillips Morris Pakistan and SEED Ventures launched a six-month long project, Social Technology Entrepreneurship Program (STEP), aimed at nurturing budding social entrepreneurial ventures.

The program identified young social ventures utilizing technological tools to address socio-economic issues while proposing business process innovations.

STEP's aim was to provide a platform, mentorship and funds to social start-ups which have the capacity to grow into larger social enterprises impacting community welfare.

40 start-ups were given a chance to interact, build and innovate their business ideas into tech-powered social ventures. The top 3 enterprises received $10,000 each, 12 additional weeks of mentorship and a DUNS number. free of cost from Dun & Bradstreet Pakistan.

For details please follow this link

Fantom Foundation Partners with
Orien Bank to Pilot Central Bank Digital Currency in Tajikistan

The Fantom Foundation announced that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the OJSC Orien bank, one of the largest banks in Tajikistan, to trial a hybrid CBDC platform for eventual deployment across the Republic of Tajikistan.

Digital currencies have been a hot topic of discussion lately. Consumers increasingly prefer electronic payments, and Central Banks are eager to offer solutions encouraging the use of national currencies rather than third-party digital payment systems.

From interbank and large business payment systems to small business transactions and P2P money transfers, Fantom CBDC is poised to transform existing currency and payments ecosystems in Tajikistan and beyond.

For details please follow this link

About CAREC Program 
The Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Program is a regional cooperation initiative consisting of 11 member countries and development partners and aims to promote development through cooperation, leading to accelerated economic growth and shared prosperity. The CAREC 2030 Strategy emphasizes the integration of information and communication technology (ICT) across the CAREC Program’s spectrum of operations. Through its upcoming digital initiatives, efforts are being made to accelerate digital adoption in the Program’s five operational clusters. These initiatives will also support innovation and entrepreneurship to promote economic growth, create new jobs, and improve access to services. The Program is harnessing startup ecosystems at the regional level to encourage activity and collaboration with the private sector.
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Copyright © 2021. CAREC Program, All rights reserved.

The purpose of this communication is to apprise you of various activities in the CAREC region relating to startup ecosystems, digitalization, and information technology.

Our mailing address is:
CAREC Program
Asian Development Bank, CAREC Unit
6 ADB Avenue
Mandaluyong City 1550