The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) held a ceremony on the 13 of November to mark the completion of Phase III (2010-14) of advisory support to small and medium-sized enterprises, funded by the government of Switzerland.
Over the course of Phase III (2010-14) the EBRD has helped over 400 SMEs in the Kyrgyz Republic to access business advice to transform their businesses, committing over €2.6 million in funding and exceeding the target of 280. The EBRD has drawn on the know-how of a network of local consultants to help transform a wide range of businesses, looking at areas including strategy, marketing, operations, quality management, energy efficiency, financial management and beyond.
This advice has had a tangible impact on the performance of the assisted enterprises: 93 per cent increased their turnover, while 60 per cent reported growing their workforce by an average of 14 per cent. Moreover, three-quarters of assisted enterprises were located outside of Bishkek, highlighting the EBRD’s commitment to providing advice also in under-served areas.
In this time, the EBRD has also built a stronger, more competitive market for business advice. Although it is still in the early stages of formation, the EBRD has created a network of 163 active consultants and supported the establishment of an active Institute of Management Consultants (IMC) of the Kyrgyz Republic, which currently has 70 members. Swiss funding has also promoted the professionalisation of the local consultancy market by improving the skills and knowledge of local consultants in the Kyrgyz Republic via training courses.
Program Manager of the Embassy of Switzerland in the Kyrgyz Republic, Elke Oehme, said: “One of Switzerland’s strategic priorities for the development of the private sector is to enhance the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises. The EBRD’s advisory programme in the Kyrgyz Republic is a key component of the Swiss Private Sector Development portfolio. We are pleased to cooperate with the EBRD and see achievements of the programme in building a strong and competitive market for business advice.”
“The EBRD’s goal is to support the Kyrgyz Republic’s transition to a well-functioning free market economy by giving practical advice – know-how that matches each client’s needs. Supporting private companies by providing expertise and mobilising national and foreign experts are important ways the EBRD can assist the Kyrgyz Republic to facilitate growth. Through know-how and technology transfer, we can boost competitiveness and the job market and contribute to a steady economic development at large,” said Larisa Manastirli, Head of the EBRD Resident Office in Bishkek. “This work in the Kyrgyz Republic would not be possible without the generous assistance of the Swiss government”.
The completion ceremony will gather representatives of government, international organisations and business associations.
Contact: Bermet Karabekova
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