BAKU, Azerbaijan, Jan. 27
By Nargiz Sadikhova - Trend:
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) continued to support Kazakhstan’s SMEs through advisory projects with local and international experts in 2020, the EBRD official told Trend.
The support was made through the EBRD Advice for small businesses program in Kazakhstan, which is supported by the government of Kazakhstan and private donors - Tengizchevroil/Chevron (TCO) and Shell Kazakhstan.
“This year we have started over 200 projects overall. While work with international industry experts aims to transform more experienced enterprises according to best global practices, projects with local consultants target specific business needs,” the official said.
Thus, the official noted, in 2020 the majority of such projects were in the fields of Information Communication Technology and Marketing, which can be explained by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on businesses. Faced with lockdowns and remote working, SMEs had to digitalize and better promote their products and services.
“As always, we also focused on training entrepreneurs in 2020. As part of our Women in Business program, supported by Kazakhstan government, we held several online workshops for women entrepreneurs in digital marketing and sales, financial literacy. Our Mentoring for women entrepreneurs initiative provided a platform for successful business development of 50 female-led companies,” the official said.
The EBRD representative also noted that as part of the Joint TCO/EBRD supplier development program over 150 entrepreneurs and SME workers were trained through online webinars on such topics as Health and safety, Waste management, Finances, HR-management, Procurement.
“For the first time this year we also organized webinars on Women’s economic empowerment to promote gender inclusion in the oil and gas sector,” the official said.
Together with Shell Kazakhstan as part of Shell LiveWIRE program EBRD targeted aspiring entrepreneurs and start-ups, the representative said.
“The third intake of “Marathon of success” – training program aimed to develop young entrepreneurs’ ideas – resulted in 33 ready-for-market business projects,” the official summed up.
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