European Union project supports small business development in Kazakhstan rural areas

Karagandy oblast, Nura rayon, Nura township – Today the EU project announced the winners of the competition for financial support for developing small business in rural areas of Kazakhstan. The total amount of the EU financial support is KZT 12 000 000 for 11 business projects to be implemented in the pilot rural territories of Eastern Kazakhstan and Karaganda regions.

The competition was launched to support business projects that would implement economic development initiatives enshrined in the inclusive community development plans elaborated in the framework of the EU project. This includes creation of new job opportunities for youth and women, and improving the quality of local service delivery.

People from socially vulnerable groups such as the disabled, mothers with many children, youth, and representatives from private enterprises took part in the competition. In total, 31 applications were received, including 14 from Karagandy oblast. The selection committee awarded six best projects from Karagandy oblast that would now receive the financial support in the total amount of KZT 6 423 000. Among the six winners from Karagandy oblast are those who wish to provide services in children’s development, automobiles repair, expand gym, establish health and beauty salon, a pancake café and pharmacy. All these new small businesses will contribute to the replenishment of local budgets. The competition participants were supported by project experts in the process of developing projects.

The EU-funded project “Greater Stakeholder Engagement at Local Level in East and Central Kazakhstan” is being implemented from 2017 to 2020 by ARGO Civil Society Development Association, Foundation for Local Government Reform (Bulgaria), “Local Self Governance Development Centre” PF (East Kazakhstan oblast), and ECOCENTER Karagandy Regional Ecological Centre. The total budget: EUR 470,000 (EU contribution: EUR 420,000). The project aims are aligned with Kazakhstan National Plan on 100 Concrete Steps as it contributes to rural economic development and empower local communities in their interaction with local authorities.

For additional information, please contact Meruyert Kurmashova, Director of ECOCENTER Karagandy oblast ecological centre: +7 (7212) 562922, 87012553668, e-mail:; Nurshat Yertayeva, Project Manager: +7 (7172) 516 964,; or Elnara Bainazarova, Press and Information Officer of the EU Delegation to Kazakhstan, e-mail: