EBRD and EU support innovative Ashgabat small business
While staying at home, how many of us have been through a phase of browsing through wardrobes and kitchen cabinets, re-organising furniture, cleaning carpets and curtains, and disinfecting surfaces? For various reasons, we have all found ourselves wanting to go the “extra mile” in making our homes feel cleaner and fresher.
If you happen to live in Turkmenistan, there is a solution in place for you: an innovative and hassle-free dry cleaning service, MAÝAM, owned and managed by Maya Myradova, a self-made woman entrepreneur. For years it has been offering its services to locals but now is set to grow thanks to the support offered by the EBRD and the European Union (EU).
Maya established her dry cleaning business in 2014 and has been running it successfully ever since. She has dealt with the region’s leading international financial organisation for five years, starting when she obtained a loan from an EBRD partner bank. This helped her purchase professional Japanese dry cleaning equipment, transforming her business. Nowadays MAÝAM is providing dry cleaning, laundry and ironing services for all types of clothes, shoes, bags and home textiles.
The company has established itself as a benchmark for similar dry cleaning businesses in the country’s capital Ashgabat. New specialised equipment purchased from Italy and Germany not only allows MAÝAM to stay in touch with the latest technical solutions but also to offer new and better services to its clients. MAÝAM Dry Cleaners is proud to be associated with the USA-based Drycleaning & Laundry Institute (DLI), the world's leading professional garment care organisation.
In recent years, the company expanded its range of services to include the disinfection of households and commercial premises as well as the use of ozone generators for air treatment. Trained personnel collect and deliver bulky items, removing and refitting curtains and similar household furnishings before and after they are dry-cleaned. It now runs a customer loyalty programme and has a digital confirmation system for all deliveries.
Since 2016, Maya has been participating in the EBRD’s Women in Business training sessions, supported by the EU. This training inspired Maya to obtain ISO 9001 certification for her company’s quality management system. The project was implemented by a local consulting company, Standart Hyzmat, and is also supported by the EU.
MAÝAM Dry Cleaners is already reaping the benefits of this collaboration: improved labour productivity, greater efficiency in order processing and better quality controls are just a few achievements to date. The founder also scooped a prestigious award at the annual exhibition organised by the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of Turkmenistan: Ms Myradova was named one of three top women entrepreneurs in the country.
Maya says, “Understanding that there is always room for improvement is what got me this far in business. I will be delighted to continue developing both personally and professionally with the support of fellow entrepreneurs, the EBRD’s Advice for Small Businesses and the European Union.”