It was fascinating walking around the streets in Almaty in Kazakhstan and getting a feel for how a 'market' economy can appear to transform a society. Small businesses are everywhere but not necessarily in a designated area or zone as we might expect in Australia, with all it's often bureaucratic planning controls.
Shops of all sizes and varieties can be literally anywhere and often on the ground floor of old soviet era residential buildings in lovely tree lined streets, just where you would not expect to see a shop or small business. They just pop up. Even the markets which we were told in soviet times really only sold fruit and vegetables and the like have been transformed. You can now buy pretty well any type of small consumer items and small white goods.
I asked one of our guides if all these little shops were there in soviet times and he replied "Nyet, not possible, now good". He went on to tell how he clearly remembers lining up with his father to buy bread.
So all you little Kazak capitalists, If you want to start a small business; go for it, and reap the benefits, as will your country**.
** Editors note: Mr Noyce is an occasional speechwriter for Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey and an economic consultant to developing economies.