EBRD to Allocate €200 Million for Development of Youth Businesses in Central Asia

EBRD to Allocate €200 Million for Development of Youth Businesses in Central Asia

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has launched a program aimed at developing youth businesses in Central Asia and Mongolia, and will allocate $218 million over seven years to ensure access to financing and training for young entrepreneurs. The program is aimed at the development of micro, small and medium-sized businesses under the guidance of young people aged 18 to 35 years.

Companies will receive financing through 20 partner financial institutions, whilst participants will also be able to receive trainings, access various events, and use consulting services. The investments is set to be complemented by a package of up to €30 million in grants and concessional co-financing.

The EBRD notes that many young people in Central Asia have entrepreneurial skills, but do not have economic opportunities. According to the bank’s estimates, only 10% of young people have the necessary education and work skills.

“Solving this problem is important for Central Asia, where small and medium—sized enterprises account for almost half of total employment and almost 40% of regional GDP,” the EBRD emphasized.

The program is funded by the Government of Kazakhstan, the Small Business Foundation, and the European Union.

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Times of Central Asia