Nazarbayev University hosted an awards ceremony for the winners of the Jas Social Impact competition of the NU Social Development Fund.
Ten teams received funding for the implementation of the social projects. Two projects from them were founded by students of the NU SEDS.
The “Shelter.kz” project by NU SEDS student Almat Abilez was among the winners in the “Social Projects Grant” nomination. Another NU SEDS student, Alikhan Talipbayev, with his project “Gulde,” won in the category “Idea Grant.”
Jas Social Impact is the grant competition for social projects and social entrepreneurship that aims to improve the world around us and solve social problems. Participants can be any team with a candidate leader from the Nazarbayev University community and NIS alumni. There are two types of funding available: Social Entrepreneurship Grant – up to 5 000 000 tenges and Social Invest – up to 10 000 000 tenge.
We asked our winners to tell us about their projects. The first of them is the leader of the Shelter.kz project, Almat Abilez, a second-year master’s student in Engineering Management. Project co-founder Baisalov Asset is also a second-year master’s degree student in Engineering Management.
Almat, please tell us about your project? Where did the idea come from?
Shelter. kz is a platform where the information about all pets in all city shelters will be located. It will help people quickly find and choose a pet and increase the chances of homeless pets finding a home. Some people would want to donate and support shelters or even become a patron of a particular pet, and our platform will introduce a convenient way for them to do that. The idea came during brainstorming with friends, as we all wanted to change the status quo.
Why did you decide to choose this sphere? What benefit can your project bring, or what problem will it solve?
The problem of homeless pets in our country is enormous. We want to change this situation. For that, we need to raise awareness among people, and we hope our service can do that.
What are the next steps?
We are planning to launch the MVP of the project this year. Then we will see if the project works well, and we will work on feedback and introduce additional features. Then we will continue to add more shelters to the database. Our final goal is to cover all the shelters in Kazakhstan.