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EBRD and Kazakhstan’s KMF join forces again for MSME financing

By Svitlana  Pyrkalo

EBRD and Kazakhstan’s KMF join forces again for MSME financing

US$ 11 million will support small businesses and female entrepreneurs

The EBRD is joining forces again with its long-standing partner KMF, the largest private microfinance organisation in Kazakhstan, to support small businesses and women-led enterprises in the country.

The Bank will extend a financial package of US$ 11 million which comprises a US$ 4.4 million loan for local micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and a US$ 6.6 million loan under the local Women in Business programme.

KMF will on-lend the EBRD funds to vibrant economic players whose growth potential is vital for the sustainable development of Kazakhstan’s economy. Reaching out to the remote parts of the country and supporting the diversification of the economy is part of the EBRD’s strategy for Kazakhstan.

The loan for women-led enterprises is the second transaction under the Women in Business programme between the EBRD and KMF. The microfinance organisation was established in 2009 and today is one of the leaders in the microfinance market in Central Asia, the Caucasus and eastern Europe.

The loan agreement was signed by EBRD President  Suma Chakrabarti and the Chairman of the Management Board of KMF, Shalkar Zhussupov. President Chakrabarti said: “We are very pleased to team up again with KMF in support of female entrepreneurs in Kazakhstan. We know that female entrepreneurship plays a key role in creating jobs and driving economic growth.”

Shalkar Zhussupov commented: “With this agreement we continue to actively increase the volume of lending to micro and small businesses, including in rural areas, in Kazakhstan. We see a great need for funds to female entrepreneurs, and this is confirmed by the dynamic growth of our total loan portfolio, which has increased by more than 30 per cent since the beginning of 2017.”

The EBRD’s investment will support inclusion by reaching out specifically to women in business. It 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 is supporting women in unlocking their potential, strengthening their skills and encouraging their participation in business. The Bank provides access to finance through credit lines to local banks dedicated to women-led small and medium-sized businesses, business advice, training and support for female entrepreneurs and women-led businesses.

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 aims to building up a resilient and diversified economy, capable of responding to macroeconomic challenges while competing at the international level.

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