Empowerment of women changes the world

According to the last GEM (Global Entrepreneurship Monitor) Women’s Entrepreneurship 2016/2017 Report “in 2016, an estimated 163 million women were starting or running new businesses in 74 economies around the world. In addition, an estimated 111 million were running established businesses. This not only shows the impact of women entrepreneurs across the globe, but highlights their contributions to the growth and well-being of their societies. Women entrepreneurs provide incomes for their families, employment for their communities, and products and services that bring new value to the world around them”. Kazakhstan is a part of this global trend. According to statistic share of women created businesses in SME is 50%, and share in small entrepreneurs’ activity is even bigger – 66%. There is a huge potential of women’s entrepreneurship development in Kazakhstan and Asian Credit Fund as microfinance company took a leading position in supporting and empowering women in business creation. We know that women reinvest more than 90% of their income in families and children’s education. Thus, investments into women’s business create a bigger contribution to development of society. The more women will come to business, even the smallest one, the more families in Kazakhstan will be able to reach the worthy standard of living.

There are some factors that prevent Kazakh women from business launch, such as invisibility of opportunities, lack of motivation, support from family members and financial support. Following ACF strategy of believing in women ACF destroys most the barriers for women. ACF provides financial support to expand their existing business or to launch a new one. Since 1997 to December 2017 ACF supported 113 759 women (92% of all disbursed microloans) in the amount of 66.7 mln USD. As of 31 December 2017, 85% of ACF active borrowers were women. ACF understands that finance its not enough to start a business. So, ACF helps women to identify opportunities by providing them business trainings which give them ideas what kind of businesses and how to start them from scratch. From ACF client’s annual survey we see that women’s businesses grow and as result the quality of family improves.

The same approach ACF uses in its internal environment. The gender composition of staff is balanced with 73% of staff being female and 50% of female members in management.

So, results of women supporting means that they can give good education to their children, improve their home conditions, meet their personal aspirations and give back to communities where the family lives.