Uzbekistan Provides 128 Women With Micro Loans for Business Development

TASHKENT, Uzbekistan, March 1 /CNW/ - Tashkent's Centre of National Art on February 23 hosted a ceremony to award the winners of the "Social Support of Family Entrepreneurship" competition, organized by the Women's Council Public Association and the National Association of Microfinance Organisations and Credit Unions (NAMOCU).

Gulnara Karimova, Chairperson of the Women's Council's Organising Committee, presented awards to 128 Uzbek business women. An initiative set up by Karimova and funded by the Women's Council and the NAMOCU, in conjunction with Mehr nuri (Ray of mercy) Public Foundation and the Social Initiative Support Fund (SISF), made available 518 grants and microcredits worth over 1.8 billion UZS for 2009-2010. The initiative culminated in the award ceremony last week.

The main goals of the competition are to assist the development of female entrepreneurship, providing business support and consultancy services to Uzbek female entrepreneurs, helping to foster a network of women running their own businesses in the region.

The categories in the micro loan programme for women include agriculture, food manufacture, textile and clothing production, craft development, personal and social services, provision of services in retail trade, and catering.

The micro credit project will enhance female business leadership in the region and help develop skills in independent business management.

Small and medium enterprises represent an important market for micro credits and loans. As in many countries, small businesses in Uzbekistan are a vital part of the domestic economy and are broadly supported by public organisations that allocate funds to strong business plans.

Professional master classes were given to the competition winners by heads of major financial organizations, giving them an opportunity to pose questions related to business management, skills in credit-related activities and writing winning business proposals.

About the project

Provision of micro credits for women farmers.

Geographic area: Djizakh, Navoi, Samarkand, Bukhara, Andijan, Namangan and Kokand city.

Implementation period: January 2009 - December 2009

Project partners:

"Microcreditbank"

DVV International (Germany)

MFC (Poland)

Credit Unions "Asr", "Tayanch", "Mador", "Sherdor", "Umid", "Ishonch", "Lastochka"

Association of auditors and accountants of Uzbekistan

Charity Foundation "Makhalla"

Project description: The project is focused at giving opportunities for improving the economic conditions and quality of life of more than 3500 family members of women farmers of the Republic of Uzbekistan by providing them with micro credits and, increasing their educational level and skills in farming.

For further information: Press Office: Dinara Dultaeva, Contact: +998-71-2392771/74/69