News & Events

Kazakh Women Entrepreneurs Visit Made in NYC

Posted on July 21, 2023 / Made in NYC News
Made in NYC's Program Manager, Kayla Shifter, and Bayan Toikebayeva, a Kazakh entrepreneur
Made in NYC’s Program Manager, Kayla Shifter, and Bayan Toikebayeva, a Kazakh entrepreneur

In a bid to foster cross-cultural collaboration and empower women entrepreneurs, Made in NYC recently played host to a delegation of seven Kazakh women entrepreneurs. The visit, which took place on Friday, July 21, was an initiative facilitated by the US Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program under the theme “Women’s Entrepreneurship: Supporting the Next Generation of Women Business Leaders.” This unique opportunity allowed the delegates to explore the work of Made in NYC, an organization dedicated to supporting local manufacturers and makers in New York City, with the goal of establishing a similar initiative for women entrepreneurs in Kazakhstan.

The delegation was accompanied by a representative from the US Department of State responsible for liaising with Kazakhstan, along with two interpreters. The ten-member group, comprised of entrepreneurs and facilitators, met at the Pratt Institute’s offices located at the Research Yard in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The visit kicked off with a presentation by Made in NYC, offering insights into the organization’s mission, programming, membership, and overall structure. Key topics discussed during the presentation included the organization’s positive impact on the local economy and member demographics, as well as the range of opportunities that its members find most advantageous.

Each of the Kazakh entrepreneurs brought with them a distinct business venture from back home in Kazakhstan, ranging from crafting exquisite silk scarves to pioneering their own innovative furniture designs through welding. However, what united them was their shared aspiration to establish a supportive community for like-minded women in their country. Inspired by Made in NYC’s network of over 1,500 members, the delegates showed particular interest in the organization’s Learning Lab workshops, dynamic networking events, and collaborative PR ventures. A simple commonality between Made in NYC and these entrepreneurs was that locally-made goods hold greater value than impersonal mass-produced items.

After the presentation, the delegation was treated to a tour of the Research Yard, during which they had the opportunity to pose questions about the origins of Made in NYC, its staffing team, and the crucial funding provided by the NYC Council. One focal point of discussion was Made in NYC Week, our annual event series that serves as a pivotal platform for small businesses to garner exposure and forge invaluable networking connections.

The visitors were also given a glimpse of the organization’s marketing materials, which ranged from evergreen Made in NYC postcards and stickers to event-specific items like posters promoting Made in NYC Week. During this portion of the visit, the Made in NYC team expounded upon the ways they facilitate connections between their members and both pop-up markets and physical retail stores across the city. Additionally, they elaborated on the various grants and funding opportunities that the organization helps its members access. The delegates were provided with insights into Made in NYC’s active social media presence and campaigns, including a deep dive into successful initiatives like Women’s History Month and New Member Monday.

As the visit drew to a close, the Kazakh entrepreneurs departed with a renewed sense of optimism and determination to initiate similar efforts back in their homeland. They expressed their commitment to remaining in touch with the Made in NYC team to seek further guidance as they embark on their respective journeys of empowering women entrepreneurs in Kazakhstan. The collaborative exchange between the two parties not only showcased the potential for international cooperation but also highlighted the enduring power of women’s entrepreneurship to drive positive change and economic growth.