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EBRD credit line benefits local clothing retailer

By Volker Ahlemeyer

A Kazakhstani businesswoman expands her enterprise thanks to loan from EBRD partner bank.

Tursynkhankyzy Saulet, a native Kazakh, grew up and lived in China before she decided to move to her ancestral homeland. She started her new life by setting up a small production facility for clothes, selling the items in Almaty’s markets. Soon her venture began to grow and Ms Saulet needed to invest to expand her business.

In the aftermath of the global financial crisis, many commercial banks were hesitant to lend money to private entrepreneurs. To fill this gap, the EBRD provided its long-term Kazakh partner Bank CentreCredit with a US$ 50 million loan for on-lending to micro, small and medium enterprises. With the help of technical cooperation funds from Japan and Luxembourg, the EBRD was also able to help the bank implement a credit scoring system for lending to micro and small enterprises.

Financing local, micro and small enterprises

“Bank CentreCredit started its cooperation with the EBRD in 1997. The bank offers micro and small business financing programmes and the EBRD supported two projects in this area: one credit line of US$ 50 million in 2006 and another for the same amount in 2009,” explains Murat Nurgazin, Managing Director for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises at the bank.

Ms Saulet’s business was one of those that benefited from the EBRD’s credit line. “The most recent loan that we obtained from Bank CentreCredit amounted to US$ 200,000. We used the money to buy raw materials, from which we make the clothes,” says Ms Saulet. “The production facilities are in our main building and we have three or four sales outlets in the city where we sell our clothes.”

Filling a market gap

“Our market segment is a very special one – for national costumes and other types of special clothes – and there is always demand for them,” she says. “We are now expanding the business and have opened another production facility.”

After successive stages of expansion, Ms Saulet now employs over 30 workers. Thanks to a clever business idea and sound investment, her company has successfully kept on growing.

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