02 Nov 2021
Clients of Turkestan Branch of KMF met with Caroline Savage, US Consul General in Kazakhstan and told her how they developed themselves as entrepreneurs. The meeting took place on October 28 in Turkestan at Born Nomad large-scale forum and festival, which was attended by over two thousand artisans. The event was held as part of the broader “Empowering Artisans” project to support the economic development of women and women’s entrepreneurship through the promotion of traditional crafts and the preservation of cultural heritage.
“This year marks the 30th anniversary of Kazakhstan’s independence, and we celebrate the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the United States and Kazakhstan”, the consul says. “Over the years, USAID (United States Agency for International Development) has initiated many programs aimed at economic transition to a market economy, including helping Kazakhstan to develop and implement the laws, regulations and infrastructure necessary to create capital markets and develop microloan methodologies. KMF, founded by USAID in 1997, became one of these projects”.
The Consul General decided to talk with KMF clients to make sure that the microfinance ideas have successfully taken root in Kazakhstan and have many grateful recipients.
Saodat Abdrashitova has been selling meat for twenty years, and for half of this period she has been the client of KMF. At the beginning of her journey, Saodat recalls, she started with one horse; later the project turned into a family business.
“This business did not particularly require any equipment. Later on we began to think about expanding it: building our own farm to keep and raise livestock, purchasing and storing hay for the winter, buying agricultural machinery. We have achieved all this thanks to loans from KMF. Today we have our own farm, which we have equipped with everything necessary for keeping cattle, including a slaughterhouse. We buy feed on a regular basis. After all, the right diet is an important part of fattening horses – it affects not only the rate of weight gain of the animal, but also the quality of meat. Recently we bought a tractor for 22 million tenge, and my son is driving it. We run the household with the whole family. We are happy that the business is well established, my clients are happy with the product. The meat is always fresh and tasty. I wish KMF growth and prosperity!”
Caroline Savage was impressed by the success stories of our clients, as well as the scale of KMF funding.
The second entrepreneur, Anar Abilova, sells women’s clothing and has been receiving loans from KMF for over 15 years.
The woman started her business in the early 2000s. At first she ran the business herself. Then her family got involved.
“I used the first loan of 500 thousand tenge to buy quality clothes from Turkey,” says the entrepreneur. “I noticed the place in the central department store of the city. My regular clients are teachers and university professors, bank and other office workers. When purchasing a product, I take into account their preferences and tastes too. Thanks to KMF, I expanded my business – today I have four stores, two of which sell men’s clothing and are run by my son. I can state with confidence that KMF loans have come to me with blessing. I not only expanded my business, but also built a 2-storey house and bought a car, married off my daughter and son. Everything went well for us. Thank you very much, KMF! I wish you to continue to grow and develop!”