UCA Signs Agreement with Kyrgyz Ministry of Economy to Implement ADB-funded Women’s Entrepreneurship Development Project

Date: 11 June 2014
The University of Central Asia (UCA) signed an agreement with the Ministry of Economy, Kyrgyz Republic on 11 June 2014 in Bishkek. 
Under the agreement, the Ministry will administer a grant of $450,000 from the Asian Development Bank, under which UCA will implement a three-year Women’s Entrepreneurship Development Project in the Kyrgyz Republic. 
The School of Professional and Continuing Education will provide three training components for the project. The first component involves training 300 women entrepreneurs across the country to enhance the viability and sustainability of their businesses and their ability to access financial resources and markets. Training will cover financial literacy, business development, and leadership and communication skills. 
The second component involves training 100 loan officers from micro-finance institutions to identify suitable tools, methods, and financial services to address the needs of women entrepreneurs. The training will strengthen the ability of the officers to assess lending procedures targeting specific needs of women entrepreneurs, develop new financial services and expand outreach to women entrepreneurs. Finally, 100 local and central government officials will receive training, with a focus on microfinance, enterprise finance and gender-sensitive practices.
“UCA’s research confirms the important role of women entrepreneurs in the Kyrgyz economy, particularly in small and medium size enterprise,” said Dr Bohdan Krawchenko, UCA Director General. “Through this comprehensive training programme, we expect to build the capacity of women entrepreneurs and enhance the enabling environment to help them succeed.”
The Women’s Entrepreneurship Development Project builds on UCA’s broader efforts to  support entrepreneurs through the provision of training in small business management, promotion of access to financial services targeted to Small and Medium Enterprise (SME), and policy research and engagement on the SME sector in the region.  
Recent research studies by UCA’s Institute of Public Policy and Administration have focused on the role of women in SMEs and participation of SMEs in regional trade. UCA research has highlighted the potential of SMEs in sustaining inclusive economic growth and stability in the region.
UCA has also engaged local government and policymakers in Naryn oblast and nationally to identify the needs of entrepreneurs and improve the financial and policy climate to foster business development. In partnership with the Kyrgyz Investment and Credit Bank, UCA has facilitated access to loans and provided the holistic support required by small business to succeed, including mentorship opportunities and guidance on applying funds toward the development and expansion of businesses.
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