How is female entrepreneurship developing in Kazakhstan?

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Zhambyl region –  experts of two organizations, to whom the business weekly appealed in order to make a picture of the development of women’s business in the country, agreed on this region. It is his residents who are more active than others taking microcredits and using state support tools when they are engaged in their own business.

What are the amounts of loans, which business areas are preferred by entrepreneurs in Kazakhstan?

Women use microloans according to their intended purpose

Women use microloans for their intended purpose In addition to the Zhambyl region, the KMF microfinance organization calls South Kazakhstan and Almaty – in these regions the company has the largest number of borrowers. Together, over 86,000 women entrepreneurs are woking in these three areas, experts are bringing their statistics. In general, they found, the share of women from among those who take microcredits is 60%, and it remains so high in recent years.
However, the amount that is required by “female” companies is less than the amount requested by male entrepreneurs. Thus, the average size of microcredit among women is 691 thousand tenge, for men – 806 thousand tenge. The difference is explained by the fact that women in lending are more cautious borrowers than men.

KMF experts also note such features of women in lending: they are distinguished by high financial discipline in servicing loans, keep records of expenses and incomes. Entrepreneurs, as a rule, use the received loans for their intended purpose – for business development. As a consequence, they are less likely to default on payments and have a generally good credit history.
In the spheres of business, the largest borrowers of companies in the trade in consumer goods (food, clothing, etc.) – more than 32 thousand people, as well as livestock (cattle breeding) – more than 15 thousand people.

What kind of business do women prefer?

Judging by the data provided by the Damu Entrepreneurship Development Fund, among the business people who took advantage of the options of the Single Business Support and Development Program Business Roadmap 2020, about a third are women. As of January 1, 2018, 3432 projects were subsidized, which are sold by 2,621 private “women’s” enterprises. In total, as of that date, the Foundation granted subsidies for 11,186 projects implemented by 7,919 entrepreneurs.
On another tool – guarantees – in “Damu” brought such statistics. The Fund issued 3,662 guarantees for a total of KZT56,163 m. (Total amount of backed loans – KZT129,915 m.). Of the projects, 1,271 are projects of women entrepreneurs, as a percentage of the total number of beneficiaries – 34.7%.

Within the framework of the Foundation’s funds allocation programs, 35,530 private entrepreneurs received financial support worth over KZT1,670.90 billion. Of these, 20,175 are business women. Thus, women in this statistics who received financial support – 57%.
Experts of the Damu Foundation noticed that women often open ateliers, beauty salons, shops. Also, “typically female” areas of entrepreneurial interest – health, nutrition and tourism.
“Preferences are as follows. First of all, this wholesale and retail trade – 940 women who opened business in this area, received support from the fund. In the second place, the manufacturing industry – 859 women entrepreneurs working in this area are our customers. The third place is transport and warehousing, 587 women applied to us from this industry, “- resulted in detailed statistics in the fund.

In terms of the scale of business, entrepreneurs are most often opened by small businesses (3036), second place in preferences – medium business (790), microbusiness – at the third (447), large enterprises openly the least openly women (70). These are the companies from among the clients of “Damu”.
In the practice of the fund the most active were women entrepreneurs in the East Kazakhstan region, Zhambyl and Aktobe regions. The average amount by which business women take out a loan is KZT142.8 m.

Is it difficult to be a woman in business?

Svetlana Kuanyshevna

Svetlana Kuanyshevna is a woman entrepreneur. She has been in the curtain business for 10 years now. She has her own curtains salon. And she started all this with a small container in the market.

“I like working in the curtain business, it’s working with people. I like to pick colors and play textures. It’s nice to see the results of my work and the gratitude of the customers. My team consists of 5 young people. They are full of ideas, active, quickly learn and support any idea or novelty.”

Working process

According to Svetlana, the curtain business is a creative process and not just a sale. This is work with the client, with the interior, the solution of the design problem.

“The curtain business in our country has mostly a woman’s face. Therefore, I do not feel gender discrimination. But there is another job where it is felt. The advantage is always given to men especially when hiring or raising.”

Young business entrepreneurs need capital, perseverance, work and patience to open their business, says Mrs. Kuanyshevna. And first of all, you need a huge desire to be engaged in this business. Without love and patience to your cause, nothing will come out.

How much do women earn?

To top off the picture of working women, decided to ask what the situation on the labor market is like women who do not go into business, and prefer working for hire, feel in terms of wages and job search.

HeadHunter reported that in 2017, 53% of women were among the candidates for vacant positions, while women willing to find a new job became more – plus 57% compared to 2016.
To compile an idea of ​​the incomes of working women, the company’s experts analyzed five branches of the economy and came to the conclusion: the division of salaries by gender is not observed. And they brought such data for 2017. In the financial sector, the maximum monthly salary was 560 000 tenge with a median of 111 815 tenge. In the field of media, marketing, advertising, BTL, PR, design and production, the maximum received 496 966 tenge, the median value – 119 274 tenge. Workers in the sphere of “medicine, pharmaceutics, pharmacies” could earn 635 712 tenge, median – 119 274 tenge. Representatives of the sphere of “telecommunications and communications” could count as much as 496 966 tenge, median – 121 088 tenge. Companies from the oil and gas industry offered as much as 504,000 tenge, the median value in this sphere was 119,275 tenge.
In the list of top 5 professional areas, according to the information provided by HeadHunter, the percentage of employed women is as follows: beginning of career – 13%, accounting – 9.6%, sales – 7.3%, administrative staff – 6.6%, banks – 2.4%.

Originally published in Kapital newspaper by Elena Tumashova under the title “Business in heels”.

See also: 

How to get state support for starting a business?


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