This is one of a series of articles published in the run up to International Women’s Day 2019 and celebrating our partners who are also leading women in business.
Larisa Vasilyeva is now the Director of Kazakhstan’s Service Press. But it would have been hard to imagine her in such a role when, after twenty years as an accountant within the printing industry, she made the leap to the operational side of printing and opened a company of her own.
“I was always interested in the actual production process. So I decided to take my experience of the industry and put my ideas into action with my own business. I bought a small company that manufactured rubber stamps and over time bought the right equipment to expand our services to printing magazines and books.”
Working in a male dominated industry or occupation is challenging for women in general. However, Larisa believes that women can cope with these difficulties.
“I have an educational background in mechanical engineering so I knew I could manage printing machines and equipment easily. Therefore I believe that if women want, they can work in male-dominated professions.”
Now, Service Press provides a wide range of printing services and employs 20 people. The company is based in Almaty, Kazakhstan’s busy commercial hub.
In 2018, Larisa realized that her clients wanted not only high quality but they also looked for speed. As such, Service Press decided to upgrade its equipment so that they could accelerate the printing process and stay competitive.
Larisa received a loan from Shinhan Bank Kazakhstan as part of the EBRD’s Women in Business programme in the country.
“We bought additional equipment thanks to the Women in Business loan. We employed additional staff for the equipment, which was also a factor for increasing our speed. As a result, we doubled our productivity in printing and now we want to increase our productivity in our book binding as well and buy our own premises for the next stage of growth”
Service Press TOO is one of the SMEs supported by the EBRD’s Women in Business Programme in Kazakhstan. The Programme had provided finance and know-how to women-led businesses to over 21,500 women entrepreneurs in the country to date. The Programme is funded by the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan.