Asian Credit Fund received recognition from Association of Microfinance Organisations of Kazakhstan for promotion of the principles “Extending of women rights and opportunities in business” and “Green economy”

The annual meeting of members of Association of  Microfinance Organizations  was held on 20 April 2017 in Almaty city. The Association members discussed the current situation at the microfinance market and approved the goals and activity plan  for 2017-2018 at this meeting.

Upon completion of the meeting, the Association awarded the best microfinance organizations. Asian Credit Fund, one of the leaders of the microfinance market, received the Certificate of Merit for promotion of the principles “Extending of women rights and opportunities in business” and “Green economy”.

Women were the main target group of ACF almost since the beginning of its activity. In 2016 ACF strengthened its activity to support business held by women in rural areas pursuant to new strategy 2016-2020. Why does ACF pay special attention to support of women? In spite of the fact that women represent the most part of economically active population, they face numerous problems. Thus, women working in the unofficial sector very often have less assets, employment opportunities and other opportunities in comparison with men. Besides, women are often lack of access to the initial capital or floating assets since they often get less salary than men. Working with women, ACF noted that women can start own business and they are more diligent in business management and decision making, they are more responsible in fulfilment of the obligations assumed and more prudent to avoid unnecessary risks. In comparison with men, women often invest in welfare of family and future of their children. Therefore, in 2016 ACF started to form among rural areas women the awareness that they can get income from their skills and hobby and became inspiring women to open their business and to extend the existing one by means of the financial support of ACF and participating in different non-financial trainings. Thus, ACF supported more than 17 200 women having provided them 3.7 billion tenge for business expansion and satisfaction of the family needs within the frameworks of women support strategy in 2016. In addition to financing, ACF was rendering non-financial services which helped women to improve their skills of business operations in the rural areas. Thus, in 2016 ACF held trainings in 6 regions of Kazakhstan on the theme “How to start business from scratch” and continued its financial education initiative “Plan your future” directed towards family budget management education.

ACF implemented the principle of “Green economy” in 2011, having developed the project of Kazakhstan rural households lending with the elements of energy saving. USAID guarantee for 1.0 billion US dollars and help in development of score cards to be used in assessment of projects energy efficiency laid the foundations of successful project. Thus, 752 energy efficiency loans to the total amount of 337,0 million tenge were issued for the period from 2011 to 2016. Of which 54% resources were used for houses insulation and 46% for heating replacement. The result of this program is not only improvement of housing conditions of village dwellers, positive influence upon their health and environmental improvement. Thus, since the beginning of program implementation, carbon dioxide emissions of households funded were reduced by more than 520 tons.

The principle of green economy was also implemented into the company itself. Thus, in 2016 ACF installed 20 solar panels in ACF office in Saryagash village which provide the entire office with electricity. The Company plans to continue this project in other ACF offices and hopes to get support of other Kazakhstan companies in this undertaking.