EBRD opens office in Khujand, north Tajikistan, to work with local SMEs

By Elena Akhmedova

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The EBRD’s Small Business Support team launches campaign in Sughd region about value of expert advice for small businesses

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is opening its second office in Tajikistan, in the northern city of Khujand, the capital of the mountainous Sughd region.
The office will focus on supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the region by helping them access professional business advice through local consultants and international industry experts.
The EBRD’s Small Business Support (SBS) team will also launch its Know How campaign on the value of external advice for small and medium-sized businesses in the Sughd area of Tajikistan.
The campaign aims to show SMEs how expert advice can help their businesses grow. The information campaign, centred on the concept of “know-how”, looks at the value of knowledge for businesses and how it can help improve a company’s performance, and is being carried out across 25 countries in which the EBRD works.
“The EBRD provides more than just finance. We also provide business advice to help small and medium-sized businesses grow and succeed, becoming genuine catalysts for their local economies,” said Richard Jones, Head of EBRD Resident Office in Tajikistan.
“The Sughd area is very economically important for Tajikistan and the wider region, and we have a significant number of projects with local consultants and international advisers already under way here. Bringing in outside expertise can have a dramatic effect on a company, and we hope to raise awareness of this with the new information campaign,” said Jeff Ferry, Head of SBS Regional Programme in Russia and Central Asia.
Since 1997, the EBRD’s Small Business Support team has helped about 450 SMEs in Tajikistan to access external advice. Local and international consultants assisted companies in improving their performance, from quality standards to product design, with the help of donor funding from the governments of Belgium, Canada, the European Union, Japan, Luxembourg, Switzerland and the United States, and from multi-donor funds such as the TaiwanBusiness-EBRD Technical Cooperation Fund, the EBRD-managed Early Transition Countries Fund and the Shareholder Special Fund. While donors contributed over €4.2 million for SME support, SMEs themselves have provided co-financing of more than €832,000 to the projects.
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