The development of small business is an extremely important part for the economic policies of the state. Small enterprises do not require large startup capital, and provide for rapid turnover. They are able to quickly resolve problems involving the diversification of the economy, the formation and the saturation of the consumer goods market in conditions of limited financial resources.
Tolymbek Manakbay, the chairman of the board of the Small Business Development Fund
Small sized entrepreneurship secures not only employment for the population, but also relieves the load from social payments on the budget. As of today, 60-75% of people are employed in the small business sector around the world, and the number of small and medium-sized enterprises exceeds 90% of the total amount of all businesses.
The level of development of small business in Kazakhstan is far from the indicators in developed countries. As of October 1st, according to the State Statistics Agency:
• 823,156 small business entities (SME) were registered in Kazakhstan. Out of these, 74.3% are considered as operating, or 90.9% of the total operating enterprise in the country.
• 1.62 million people; or 21.8% of the total population are employed in SMEs all over the country. That is, over 1/5 of the population throughout the country are employed by SMEs.
• SMEs produce 24.4% of the total amount of products of all companies.
One of the main obstacles restraining the development of SMEs is a shortage of financial (loans) resources. Despite the successful development of the banking business in Kazakhstan, the level of financial support being rendered to SMEs remains low. For example, the share of loans meant for SMEs in Kazakhstan remains at nearly 5-6% out of the total GDP, whereas in the U.S., this indicator is equal to 20% and in Japan - 35%.
9 years have passed since the foundation of the Fund. Today, its credit portfolio holds nearly 2,000 loans for a total amount of KZT 20 billion, and has created credit portfolios for the following programs:
1. An SME crediting program (including women’s’ entrepreneurship), created utilizing national budget funds in 2002 – financed 262 projects for a total amount of KZT 703.6 million, over 1,772 jobs were created and supported.
2. Small town development for 2004-2006 – financed 272 projects for the amount of KZT 1.5 billion, 2871 jobs were created and supported.
3. Crediting SMEs with the Fund’s money - from 2002, 1,371 projects were supported for a total of KZT 16.43 billion; over 15,000 jobs were created and supported.
4. The co-financing of the SME program together with the akim of the Akmola Oblast – in 2005, a credit agreement was closed between the Fund and the akimat of the Akmola Oblast, according to which, the projects are financed 50/50 between the oblast budget and the Fund. Overall, 21 projects were financed for a total amount of KZT 206.5 million, and 370 jobs were created.
KZT 30 billion should be allocated for the capitalization of the Fund from the national budget, out of which:
• KZT 4 billion is meant for developing a lending project
• KZT 11 billion for developing a micro-loan system;
• KZT 15 billion – for a credit guarantee system for SMEs in conjunction with Second Tier Banks (STB)
In 2005-2006, the Fund already received KZT 20 billion. As a result, at the present time, the authorized capital of the Fund is KZT 28 billion. One of the main programs of the Fund is called Project Financing and Financial Leasing. Project financing with the Fund’s own money has been conducted beginning with late 2002, the volumes of financing have been growing continuously over the last few years. The majority of the Fund’s loans are granted for 3-5 years.
It is worth noting that the sector-specific structure of the credit portfolio of banks and the Fund differ greatly from each other. Nearly 40% of loans from STBs are for trade and 17% are for construction, but 35.2% of the loans in the Fund’s portfolio are for construction and 16% are for the agriculture and agricultural processing sectors. That is, the level of heavy industry being financed by the Fund is nearly 70% as of the present time, and has shown a tendency to decrease significantly as the SME credit guarantee program is developing.
Guarantee of bank credit for SMEs and the provision of risk insurance for SME lending at Second-Tier Banks
Commercial banks make high demands for providing credit in accordance with their risk management policies. All over the world, there are systems that guarantee compensation for banks in the event that their debtors do not fulfill their loan obligations. Credit provided to small business would not be issued at all or would be in smaller amounts were it not for guarantee programs.
Such systems firstly decrease the necessity for the direct allocation of state budget funds for crediting small enterprises. Secondly, they contribute to developing risk evaluation skills on the part of creditors and debtors, strengthening long-term connections between them and ultimately, following successful development, it will gradually bring about a situation where state participation as a guarantor will not be obligatory.
The Fund provides guarantees to SMEs for obtaining loans through banks and other financial organizations. In addition, the guarantees issued by the Fund are backed-up by insurance companies. Today, nearly all large second tier banks participate in this Program, which include: Eurasia, London-Almaty, Nomad Insurance, Mercur Reward, BTA, Centras, and ATF-Polis.
New banking products have been developed and are provided under the Fund’s guarantee program, including Business Super Lights by Halyk Bank of Kazakhstan, Legkye Zalogi (Easy Deposits) at BankTuranAlem, and Zalog Udachi (Deposit of Luck), offered by Kazkommertsbank.
As part of the program, projects aimed at the renewal, modernization and expansion of the principal funds of acting SMEs and projects aimed at the acquisition of startup capital are supported first.
As of October 1st, the Fund issued guarantees for SME loans in 18 projects for a total amount of KZT 500 million. In addition, KZT 666.4 million was attracted from second- tier banks. The premium rates for some loans were dropped down to 11% of the annual yield.
Micro-credit system development program in Kazakhstan
This program is conducted in two areas:
1) The creation of micro-credit organizations (MCOs) with the Fund’s participation. The Fund creates MCOs with its participation in those regions where such private organizations do not exist.
2) The crediting of functioning MCOs. The Fund carries out the privileged financing of existing MCOs to supply them with credit resources.
As of September 1st, 595 MCOs were registered, out of which, 533 (89%) are now operating. The Fund financed 83 projects by MCOs related to providing financial support for nearly KZT 3500 million. The Fund provides educational and technical support to MCOs and contributes toward the development of infrastructure in the micro-credit sector.
Educational, informational, analytical and consulting support showed to SME
One of the primary goals of the Fund is to develop educational, information-analytical, and consulting support for SMEs.
In order to increase the efficiency of this program, the Fund created the Republican Educational Center of Entrepreneurship Practice in September 2005. In addition, Centers of Entrepreneurship Support were created at all regional affiliates of the Fund.
As of today, the Fund has its headquarters in Almaty, as well as regional affiliates in all oblast centers, with representative offices in Astana and in 39 major oblast districts and cities (35 of these began to operate in June 2006).
The financial support for SME development across all programs conducted by the Fund, have allowed it to create and support over 390,000 jobs in all regions of the country.
The successful fulfillment of the Fund’s goals will bring about an increase in the number of functioning enterprises, a growth in employees in SMEs, which will contribute to a diversification of the economy, the production of competitive goods, and a growth of the middle class.