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Thematic Area:

Women Banking & Empowerment

Duration:            

2015 - 2022

Client:                

European Bank for Reconstruction & Development (EBRD)

Region:             

Turkey, Caucasus & Central Asia

Country Coverage:           

Kazakhstan

Project Overview

After successful implementation of Turkey Women in Business Programme (TurWiB), the EBRD spread the programme to other countries of their operation and launched the Kazakhstan Women in Business Programme (KazWiB) in 2015 due to similar challenges and needs of women in business (WiB).

The objectives of the Technical Assistance (TA) Programme are to support women-led MSMEs access finance for sustainable growth and job creation; develop sustainable credit mechanisms targeted to women-led MSMEs through TA to financial intermediaries in Kazakhstan and support women-led MSMEs in accessing know-how, non-financial business development services and networking opportunities.

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The first phase of the (KazWiB) Programme was successfully implemented from 2015 to 2017 with a total volume of over USD 51 million disbursed to more than 20,000 women entrepreneurs by five partner financial institutions (PFIs), three commercial banks and two microfinance institutions. The second phase of the Programme is ongoing and will finish by February 2021.

During the first phase, Frankfurt School experts developed a gender responsive customer value proposition for the five PFIs, one of which developed a women-banking concept and put all WiB services under a framework. PFIs were supported in designing non-financial services for the WiB segment including the Women’s Café concept. Gender awareness, gender sensitivity and sales trainings were developed and delivered to 630 PFI staff.

Training-of-trainer programmes were completed by 16 PFI internal trainer candidates who then went on to deliver 78 internal trainings. 19 WiB seminars for more than 800 women were delivered in cooperation with EBRD Advice for Small Business (ASB) team and PFIs.

Likewise, within the Programme, 700 women accessed the Business Lens (diagnostic tool) and completed the self-assessment questionnaire. Moreover, Frankfurt School experts developed an innovative web-based referral tool to ensure coordination and referral between the PFIs and the EBRD ASB advisory projects with more than 120 referrals.

Several events took place to round out the advisory activities, including a programme of roundtables/conferences (e.g. on Gender Awareness with PFIs and Programme stakeholders), a Women in Business conference and a WiB Award Ceremony.

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The second phase has a stronger emphasis on the development of the existing and potential WiB clients of PFIs with the following activities:

  • Production and roll-out of a Business Lens video on how to use the Business Lens tool and its potential benefits to the women entrepreneurs for PFIs;
  • Organisation of 26 WiB seminars with 1,284 WiB participants;
  • Assistance to PFIs during the organisation of their own Women’s Café events under their own WiB frameworks;
  • Support to PFIs on the development of a marketing strategy and communication plan and technical support to upgrade their websites; the websites and WiB portals under development will include a specific section for WiB with the various offers, information sources, training videos and success stories;
  • Deployment of an agricultural loan assessment system for one of the PFIs to better analyse the loan applications of women in agriculture sector; and,
  • Development of an online Gender Awareness Training programme in the form of six informative videos for PFI staff: available at www.wibtraining.com

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Erdal Koçoğlu

Director

Regional Office Turkey, the Caucasus and Central Asia