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Last week I had the privilege of taking time out from my work at Kusto Group to award this year’s Yerzhan Tatishev Foundation educational grants. At a ceremony in Almaty, eight students received funding towards their further education, following a competitive process which assessed applicants’ skills, desire and financial need. In addition to the grants, successful recipients will also receive support and mentoring from the Foundation’s Board of Trustees, which includes political, business and cultural figures.

We created the Foundation in memory of my late brother Yerzhan, who achieved great things throughout his lifetime thanks to his talent and hard work. I want that same talent and hard work amongst Kazakhstan’s youth to be recognized and rewarded. My vision is that these youngsters will go on to become the dynamic entrepreneurs and business leaders of tomorrow.

These awards were split into two categories, the BesTirek educational grant program, and another for those with special educational needs. The former is for students with clear leadership abilities and who want to become entrepreneurs, providing funds for their education at Alma University, study abroad at Babson College in America and 1,000,000 tenge for a start-up. The latter is aimed at those with disabilities who are motivated to overcome barriers and enjoy a high-quality education.

Since our founding in 2002, Kusto Group has placed workforce education and entrepreneurship at the heart of our way of doing things. Ensuring our workers have the necessary skills and capability to develop the business is the starting point for all our work. Encouraging our workforce to think as entrepreneurs is crucial to ensuring the business can continue to grow.

I sincerely believe that talent multiplied by hard work can benefit all of society and is key to Kazakhstan’s future prosperity. I wish success to this year’s winners and know that were Yerzhan with us today, he would be proud of each and every one of them.