In 2018-2019 Crossroads Central Asia completed fieldwork for research on kinship and economic growth in the Kyrgyz Republic. Studies of kinship in Central Asia often focus on its political implications. But the nature of family relations, including norms of mutual support, can also be a significant issue when it comes to the development of small and medium business. How does family and kinship links affect the prospects of business start-ups? What can we learn about the relationship between the size and quality of social networks of an entrepreneur in Kyrgyzstan to opportunities for her/his business enterprise?
The above questions were central in a study that included a survey of 1000 small business owners in Bishkek and Osh. The survey was preceded by 20 in-depth interviews with entrepreneurs from different industries as well as several experts and leaders of business associations. The research project was led by Drs Paul Dower and Ted Gerber of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with Crossroads Central Asia acting as a field research partner.