MOST Business Incubator — the organization formerly known as Institute for Development and Economic Affairs (IDEA) — has positively impacted economic growth through its efforts to create a market-driven venture capital system and to foster a positive business climate in the Republic of Kazakhstan. This work has been filled with challenges due to regulations in Kazakhstan’s tax code. Thanks to MOST, in December 2017 Kazakhstan’s tax code was changed. Now, there’s an improved environment where individuals can thrive together.
MOST promotes and facilitates venture capital investments, which occur when private individuals seek out new businesses to invest in. MOST works with technology start-ups to connect them with financial backers. Before the reform, the Kazakhstan tax code's regulations prevented investors and small businesses from connecting to each other.
For example, there was no legal designation for Venture Funds. Venture Funds are what investors use to make loans to startups. Now, Article 251-1 in the Business Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan has been revised to define Venture Funds as legal entities of associations of individuals based on contracts. With this definition comes the security that investors can provide funds to new businesses in a clear, legal way. This security encourages economic development in all areas, not only in the technology sector. Other beneficial changes to the tax code which resulted from the advocacy of MOST include amendments to Articles 241 and 246 that better support the development of Venture Funds and to change the size of income needed to invest in Venture Funds.
MOST provides many training opportunities for new technology businesses. These include its Startup Weekend Hackathons. Participants learn how to construct prototypes effectively as a team with the help of mentors and MOST resources. Other trainings include mentorship opportunities and a 1–3 month acceleration program. MOST also hosts competitions between small businesses to help them improve and it consistently promotes the best examples of successful startups.
MOST has shown that cooperation between individuals is the best way to create wealth and stimulate innovation. If the government offers a stable environment where these exchanges can take place then people will help themselves and help others achieve success and prosperity. Thanks to the advocacy efforts and work of MOST Kazakhstan is now a freer, wealthier country.