Kassa Nova becomes new EBRD partner in supporting Kazakh MSMEs and female entrepreneurs

By Svitlana  Pyrkalo
@pyrkalo

Kassa Nova becomes new EBRD partner in supporting Kazakh MSMEs and female entrepreneurs

Kassa Nova Bank to on-lend US$ 11 million EBRD credit line in tenge to small businesses across the country

Deepening its outreach to small businesses and women-led enterprises in Kazakhstan, the EBRD is providing the local Kassa Nova Bank with a financial package for the equivalent of US$ 11 million.

The first part will be a senior loan in KZT equivalent to up to US$ 6.6 million for on-lending to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).The EBRD’s funding will support local companies’ access to finance, which is vital for their growth. Special focus will be put on the distribution of funds outside the main cities of Astana and Almaty.

In addition, the EBRD will provide the equivalent of up to US$ 4.4 million in KZT to Kassa Nova for on-lending to women-led MSMEs under the Kazakhstan Women in Business framework. Under this facility the EBRD promotes and supports women’s entrepreneurship and participation in business by facilitating access to finance as well as business development services.

The transaction is the first project between the EBRD and Kassa Nova, a bank established in 2009 and specialised in services for retail and MSME clients. It focuses on modern IT technologies in order to ensure comfortable and fast service for clients and a quick decision-making process.

The loans will be fully guaranteed by Kazakhstan’s entrepreneurship development fund Damu,  which specialises in working with local businesses, public organisations and local authorities. The EBRD and Damu signed a Memorandum of Understanding recently to establish a framework for partnership and the development of long-term, effective and mutually beneficial cooperation aimed at developing the MSME sector. This will include training of employees, knowledge sharing and skills improvement according to a fully developed business support programme.

The loan agreements between the EBRD and Kassa Nova were signed by EBRD President Sir Suma Chakrabarti and the Chairman of the Management Board of Kassa Nova, Sholpan Nurumbetova. Sir Suma said: “We are very pleased to partner with Kassa Nova, a bank committed to developing small businesses in Kazakhstan. SME development is one of the EBRD’s priorities as small private businesses are the backbone of every country’s economy and generate employment opportunities for all segments of the population.”

Sholpan Nurumbetova, Chairman of the Management Board of Kassa Nova Bank, commented: “Through this new facility we intend to support the development of as many MSMEs in Kazakhstan as possible. We are pleased to start our partnership with the EBRD, which will allow us to offer more, and more affordable, financing to small businesses.”

The EBRD investment is in line with the Bank’s new transition concept, which argues that a well-functioning market economy should be competitive, inclusive, well-governed, green, resilient and integrated.

The EBRD’s Women in Business programmes give women entrepreneurs access to the finance and the know-how to grow their businesses. These programmes combine credit lines for women-led enterprises with training, advisory projects, mentoring and networking opportunities.

To date, the EBRD has invested close to €7.2 billion (equivalent to over US$ 8.0 billion) in Kazakhstan’s economy. The Bank’s work in Kazakhstan is aimed at building up a resilient and diversified economy, capable of responding to macroeconomic challenges while competing at the international level.