Providing access of women to micro loans

The research done by our NGO concerning a problem "Woman and Unemployment" (January-July, 1999) has shown the following:

        level of female unemployment in region - 79 %;

        social structure of the unemployed: women with higher education 40 %; with high school education 48 %; with college education12 %; out of them, young women up to 35 years 63 %; at the age of 35 - 55 years 37 %.

As a result of opinion polls we found out that one of the reasons preventing women self-employment (employment in a small business) is lack information on possibilities of taking out micro loans from the banks. Many of them (26 %) could provide themselves with work in the sphere of a small business if they had the starting capital. The existing government program of micro loans provides possibilities of corporate loans.

The project Providing access of women to micro loan is focused on teaching women of our region mechanisms of taking the micro loans and the organizing their own business. The sphere of unemployment is the particular sphere of public life that is mentioned by the given problem.

The program of micro loans for the least provided citizens of Kazakhstan for 1998-2000 is accepted by Government law of R dated February 12th, 1998. A micro loan is one of the forms of a bank loan directed on creating conditions for business development and maintenance of self-employment for the least provided citizens. The amount of money given to this program is $400.

The problem is that most women do not have enough knowledge about micro loans possibilities for organizing their own business.

80 unemployed women of working age were taught the techniques of taking out micro loans and organizing their own small business.

The following aims were pursued:

        to inform women about conditions of micro loans taking within governmental program;

        to teach women the basis of individual business and organizing their own business;

        to train women to do business-plans for taking micro loans;

        to explain the process of loan taking

The handouts concerning legislative regulation of individual business and micro loans were developed. Further consulting on enumerated above issues were offered to women.