The number of enterprises managed by women increased by 11% in Kazakhstan | FinReview
25 November 2018

The number of enterprises managed by women increased by 11% in Kazakhstan

SME lending review in partnership with EBRD and ADB. October 2018

The number of operating companies in the small and medium-sized business sector increased by 9.3% over the year and amounted to 272.4 thousand by the end of September 2018.

Female business is developing faster: there are already 81.9 thousand enterprises under the leadership of women in the country – by 11.1% more than a year earlier.

Over the year, the share of companies with female managers rose from 29.6% to 30.1%.

Действующие предприятия МСБ. Сентябрь (тыс. ед.)

Доля женщин-руководителей. Сентябрь

Women’s small and medium businesses are actively supported by international regional development banks in cooperation with the state — for example, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) with the Women in Business program, and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), which deals with financing SMEs in general. Programs are implemented through STB and MFI.

It is noteworthy that the only MFI participating in the EBRD and ADB programs, along with banks, is KMF – the largest microfinance organization of Kazakhstan. Moreover, the company has a special offer for women entrepreneurs, where the remuneration rate is reduced by 1%.

The maximum loan amount under the Women in Business program is 900 million tenge, for up to 120 months. The loan is issued by SME under the guidance of women.

The maximum amount of the program for financing SMEs from ADB funds is not more than 1.08 billion tenge, for a term of up to 60 months. This discount program is available to all small and medium enterprises of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

According to the information on the EBRD website (, under the program “Women in Business”, the financial institution works, in addition to KMF, with 4 banks. The ADB is working with the KMF and 2 second-tier banks (source under the program for financing medium and small businesses.

Действующие предприятия МСБ. Региональный срез. Сентябрь (тыс. ед.)

The highest concentration of enterprises under the leadership of women from the total number of operating SME companies and, accordingly, the highest demand for support programs are observed in Almaty: 31.9%, or 21.1 thousand. The next is Kyzylorda Oblast: 31.2%, or 2.3 thousand. The TOP-3 is closed by the Almaty region, where in 30.7% of all existing SMEs women are in charge – 4.2 thousand.

At the same time, in some regions the situation with women leaders is noticeably worse. Thus, the share of enterprises under the female management of the total number of SMEs in the Aktobe region is only 27.2%, in the North Kazakhstan – 27.3%, in the West Kazakhstan region – 27.6%.

It is noteworthy that the number of operating SMEs in WKO and SKO does not even reach 8 thousand, while in Almaty, where the weight of women managers in business is much higher, there are more than 66 thousand operating companies in the sector.

It is important to note that the branches and offices of banks of Kazakhstan are mainly concentrated in large cities. So, only three metropolis – Almaty, Astana and Shymkent – account for more than 30% of all branches and offices of the second-tier banks.

At the same time, MFIs are focused not so much on large cities, but on remote regions. So, KMF has only 12 divisions in three key megacities, and only 29 divisions operate in large cities. The remaining 88 of 117 branches of the company are ready to support women’s business in the villages and small towns of the country.