Medical Student Helps New Parents Through Technology
When Benazir Mamytova, a fourth-year medical student in Kazakhstan’s Astana, told her parents that she wanted to try her hand at entrepreneurship and IT, they were shocked. ‘You're a future doctor,’ they said. ‘Why do you need this?’ Benazir did not consider this an obstacle. She was determined to succeed.
In 2021, Benazir led a team of medical students who shared her passions and aspirations and wanted to combine medicine with other promising fields.
“We just couldn’t grasp the basics. But we kept on going, learning and training. Sometime later I got the feeling that new doors were opening in front of us. Every day became more interesting’, she says.
Benazir’s team worked on innovative and original projects for a couple of years. They began participating in competitions and winning prizes.
‘When Beeline Kazakhstan saw that there could be successful IT projects in medicine, it was the light at the end of the tunnel for us. Before that, Kazakh companies looked at us with surprise when they found out that the Medical University was working on IT projects", Benazir says.
In 2021, Benazir and her team took part in the Enactus National Competition of student entrepreneurship, startups and innovation. A competition designed for students to submit social-entrepreneurial, environmental and innovative projects to a judging panel, where the winner gets the right to defend the honour of Kazakhstan at the world championship against participants of 36 countries.
Now Beeline Kazakhstan, a partner of Enactus, is running its own contest. The winners receive a grant for the development of their unique project.
The competition is held every spring, but Benazir and her team began to prepare for the event on the first day of university in September.
Over the long months of preparation, the team came up with three projects that they submitted to the competition. The future doctors wanted to make projects that would be really useful to society.
‘When we define a project idea, we try to understand what people need. As doctors, we wanted to work on a medical project in the IT field. We analyzed the market and realized that there is one serious problem - the parents of newborn babies do not have basic medical knowledge’, Benazir says.
This research helped the team to come up with a simple yet brilliant idea.
The team has created a website that provides new parents with the knowledge they need in the first year of a child's life. The team’s goal was to increase the medical literacy of parents. One of the main advantages of the portal is the ability to buy medical courses that will help parents better understand the needs of their child. All lectures are recorded by professional doctors with extensive experience in childcare.
It was this project that the team presented at the Beeline competition and received a grant for the further development of the project. Moreover, the team was able to take first place in Enactus.
‘Beeline held a special incubator in which students from all over the country participated. The business incubator lasted three months - company representatives taught us how to develop a project from idea to implementation, how to analyze the market and competitors, how to promote a digital project in the current realities. We realized that most startups fail because they do not do an early analysis of their projects. The business incubator taught us how to analyze our projects’, Benazir says.
Thanks to all the master classes in which they took part, the Benazir project is developing and expanding. Now it's not just lectures for future parents. The site already has nine sections with tips on caring for a child, lectures on nutrition, news, and even a store.
Benazir is sure that it is possible to repeat her success. "We looked at the competitors a few years ago and admired them. Their projects motivated us. And we realized: yes, we are doctors, but we can also engage in IT and entrepreneurship. We took the opportunity. And we will be happy to participate in future competitions and strive for victory. When you strive for something for a long time, and then you win, it's an unforgettable experience. And there is a desire to win more and dream more."
As for the future of this project, Benazir plans to enter new markets. "So far, our courses are written in Russian, but by 2025 we plan to translate them into English and launch them in the US and Britain as well."
Benazir herself does not plan to stop there. This year, the practical part of her education began at the university, and now Benazir is working with patients. However, this doesn’t mean that she plans to quit entrepreneurship, “I want to find a balance. I’m interested in treating patients, but I’m also interested in start-up businesses and changing the world. The competition helped me discover my potential, understand myself, helped me grow and be useful in something more."
Benazir's parents, who at first did not understand why she was interested in entrepreneurship, and could not understand how their daughter manages so many things all at once, are now happy for her. "When I come home and say: ‘Mum, I did it, we took first place!’ they see me bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and rejoice. Now they say: okay, we believe in you, do it!"
On behalf of our team, I would also like to express my deepest gratitude to Beeline and Enactus Kazakhstan for their support and assistance to students in the implementation of projects.