Green TAL Social Enterprise at the Best for Kids Public Foundation
Founded and managed by Emin Askerov
High unemployment among socially vulnerable groups (the disabled, single mothers, orphanage graduates) is a major challenge today. The main barriers to employing them are the lack of education and the employers’ unwillingness to hire “difficult” people.
Green TAL, a social workshop manufacturing furniture, souvenirs and textile and clothing items as well as providing IT services, was set up in 2015 to tackle this issue. Green TAL provides the disabled with both training and work.
Green TAL’s founder Emin Askerov is a second-generation social worker who has been well aware of this problem from his childhood. He had been thinking over the creation of a social project for a long time, and in 2014 he decided to develop a project that would both help people and generate income.
After studying the market, Emin decided to open a workshop to produce osier items. From the very beginning he needed to train disabled employees and orphanage graduates in osier weaving. The biggest problem the enterprise faced at that first stage was to find a weaver to teach its workers. It turned out that in Kazakhstan such artisans tend to live in remote localities.
The first weaver, Eugene, was found in a village near Kokshetau. He was a self-taught craftsman with fifteen years of experience and had nurtured a long-term dream to have his own workshop. In the village it was difficult for him to fulfil his dream due to low demand and the capacity for people within the vicinity to pay for his work. When Emir invited him to open an osier workshop he agreed. The first group of trainees comprised twelve people.
However, osier items were not in high demand and Emir decided to develop new areas of business and produce items, which would be more popular with the market. As a result, osier weaving was reduced by 90% and, since September 2016, the workshop has produced furniture and wooden souvenirs, and also provided sewing services.
All employees of the enterprise who do not have specialist background first receive training and then they join the team. Professional development courses are provided on a regular basis. Today, the workshop employs fifteen people, including twelve disabled people who want to work and move forward. The workshop is where they can develop their potential.
Emir also plans to open a social entrepreneurship school for everyone. He is also considering opening an employment centre for the disabled.