Frankfurt School has been firmly rooted in the Turkey, Caucasus & Central Asia region through the establishment of our first regional office in Ankara, Turkey in 2003. Since then, the region has become a critical pillar of our operations and we currently have four project offices in Istanbul-Turkey, Baku-Azerbaijan, Tbilisi-Georgia and Almaty-Kazakhstan. As of 2021, we have completed over 90 consultancy assignments and have another 22 ongoing projects ranging from MSME to rural and agricultural finance, gender finance, energy efficiency, renewable energy projects and guarantee programmes.
FS TURCASIA has been applying its deep expertise and international best practices across Turkey, Cyprus, the Caucasus and Central Asian region (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan). At FS TURCASIA, we tailor our advice and training for our network of financial institutions and other beneficiaries to the regional circumstances, which we feel is crucial to gain sustainable success acknowledging the diverse mix of small and large economies.
Our partners in Turkey, Caucasus and Central Asia include international and development finance institutions (e.g. EBRD, EIB, KfW, World Bank), bilateral and multilateral donor organisations (e.g. AFD, EC, EU, UNDP), and non-government organisations. The beneficiaries of consulting and training are primarily commercial banks and microfinance institutions, regulators and bank training institutions, end-borrowers, investors, and other stakeholders of the financial community.
The development of SME businesses is one of our focus areas. We collaborate with local banks and financial institutions to create, enhance and/or expand their outreach to address the micro, small and medium-sized enterprise (MSME) market. This leads to job and value creation as well as to improved exports and trade. It also strengthens the institutions’ own organisational ecological footprint, environmental and social responsibility to ensure their long-term sustainability. Lastly, this focal area supports the diversification and geographical outreach of their financial services and product range to meet the needs of their respective market segments.
Another focus is on agricultural finance, which covers a wide range of stakeholders from agricultural bankers to smallholder farmers, medium and large agricultural enterprises, cooperatives, producer unions and so on. Since 2010, in-class capacity building training and webinars provided to bank staff (agricultural) financial literacy training to the clients of the government and commercial banks, and technical on-the-job training have reached thousands of people across Turkey, Caucasus and Central Asia region and have increased their awareness about agricultural production and finance.
The third focus of our Regional Office is promoting women’s economic empowerment. Since 2010, we conduct technical assistance programmes, capacity-building activities, and research studies across the region to understand and improve the conditions of women’s access to formal financial services, business advisory, networks, and markets in order to become entrepreneurs and grow their businesses sustainably.
Currently, Frankfurt School support also provides advice on diversification strategies to encourage entrepreneurship among disadvantaged groups such as refugees and on innovative finance vehicles for businesses investing in green and climate-smart energy solutions as well as features for improved guarantees and insurances. We also implement projects to digitalise the financial industry and ensure risk contingency planning.