These days it is not unusual to see a long line of cars waiting to be repaired in the front of mechanic Uson Matysakov’s repair shop in Halmion, southern Kyrgyzstan. In June 2008, Uson transformed a once empty building into a bustling auto repair facility. He now has a thriving business thanks to his entrepreneurial spirit, several highly skilled masters, six eager apprentices and new equipment and tools he acquired through a USAID micro-loan.
Uson started seeking new entrepreneurial opportunities after becoming dissatisfi ed with the results of his previous business. Observing the rapidly growing number of automobiles in Halmion, he realized there was a lack of auto repair facilities in the area. Car owners had to spend the extra time and expense of traveling 30 - 60 kilometers to the nearest repair shops.
The USAID-backed micro-loan supported Uson’s idea of opening a quality repair shop and granted him a micro-loan because his business idea addressed a local community need, created new workplaces and apprenticeship opportunities, and was economically viable.
Being aware the skill level of the mechanics is of critical importance to the reputation of a repair facility, Uson recruited a highly skilled master mechanic, Hamid Yusupov. Like many migrant Kyrgyz workers, Hamid previously had to fi nd employment in Russia. Now he works at the shop with three other mechanics trying to keep up with demand while also passing on their knowledge and skills to the six apprentices employed by the shop.
The business now serves up to ten clients a day – double the initial projections.
“I’m very pleased with the high quality of their work,” said local customer Zamir Masherapov. “And we are glad the repair shop is now available locally, so that we don’t need to drive so far away from our village.”
Uson continues to expand and improve his business. Recently he opened a spare parts shop within his garage to provide a muchneeded local supply of auto repair and maintenance items.
Last updated: October 14, 2014