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EBRD finds ways to adjust its support to Kazakhstan against COVID-19 backdrop

Business Materials 28 January 2021 17:44 (UTC +04:00)
EBRD finds ways to adjust its support to Kazakhstan against COVID-19 backdrop

BAKU, Azerbaijan, Jan. 28

BY Nargiz Sadikhova - Trend:

During the COVID-19 pandemic, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) found ways to adjust the way it works to better serve the needs of Kazakhstan’s market, the EBRD official told Trend.

The official noted that it is no secret that SMEs were disproportionately hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic ramifications.

“Naturally, we have started to address the challenges of COVID-19 in our advisory projects. For example, we helped a chain of kindergartens from Karaganda introduce online courses and our project helped a pharmacy business stay efficient during the pandemic,” the official said.

The EBRD representative noted that the trainings organized by EBRD, though planned to be held offline originally, were adapted to online format and the content was modified for the current situation.

“However, we also introduced completely new crisis response initiatives, the biggest being our series of ReStart monthly anti-crisis webinars. For 7 months we provided a free platform for SMEs to learn crisis management from best business consultants, experienced entrepreneurs and industry experts,” the official said.

Each 2-hour webinar covered a specific area of business and how it should be handled in times of uncertainty. ReStart, organised with support from the government, was visited by more than 1500 people. Many of them shared with us that the webinars helped them adapt to the new reality, come up with fresh business ideas or gave them a push to innovate.

“Another crisis-response tool for SMEs is the EBRD Know How Academy. This free online learning hub is available for all countries of operation of the EBRD. It targets micro-, small- and medium sized enterprises by providing easy-to-follow educational videos on the basics of business,” the official said.

Concluding the EBRD official added that ways to adjust the way EBRD works to better serve the needs of the market were found.

“Our projects with international experts are good examples of that. Though they previously relied heavily on regular visits from foreign experts, they are now being successfully implemented remotely,” the official said.

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Follow the author on Twitter: @nargiz_sadikh

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