EBRD to expand SME support with €41 million from the government of Kazakhstan

By Anna  Wilson

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Janet Heckman, EBRD Director for Kazakhstan and Yerbolat Dossayev, Kazakhstan’s Minister of the National Economy at the signing ceremony.
Government of Kazakhstan’s funding to support technical assistance, advisory services to small and medium-sized enterprises and women entrepreneurs
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the government of Kazakhstan have signed three agreements to provide €41 million for technical cooperation projects, advisory support to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and a Women in Business programme.
Funds amounting to €22 million from Kazakhstan’s Ministry of National Economy are dedicated to extending the EBRD’s support to SMEs for five years. Through its Small Business Support team, the EBRD provides advice by way of local consultants and international advisers to help SMEs develop their businesses, increase their competitiveness and grow. More than 850 SMEs will receive support under the SBS programme, while 500 business owners will benefit from sector-focused activities and 250 local consultants will receive training.
An €11.5 million supplement to a Joint Technical Cooperation Account will be dedicated to technical assistance projects in Kazakhstan, including those in the municipal sector, and as a complement to banking projects.
Finally, US$ 8.2 million will be devoted to a new programme aimed at supporting women entrepreneurs in Kazakhstan.  
Janet Heckman, EBRD Director for Kazakhstan, said: “Kazakhstan is one of only a few countries in which the EBRD works that contribute funds to technical assistance efforts. These signings – totalling €29.4 million for the SME advisory and support to women entrepreneurs – constitute the largest one-off contribution to SBS, for example, and this valuable collaboration between the EBRD and Kazakhstan continues to enable the EBRD to do more and more varied work to support the country.”
Kazakhstan’s Minister of the National Economy, Yerbolat Dossayev, said: “We are very pleased to announce this enhanced partnership with the EBRD. This will build on the government’s Strategic Development Plan for 2020 and Strategy for 2050, with an emphasis on priority sectors, to promote a vibrant economy for the future.”
In 2013, Kazakhstan became the first EBRD country of operations to fund the EBRD’s Small Business Support activities.
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