Entrepreneur Ultugan Kyzaibekova owns a tailor‘s business where she and her 35 employees make clothes and uniforms for the police, government employees and prosecutors, among others.

Ultugan’s journey to becoming a successful tailor began in the early 1990s, when she initially bought food and clothes to sell on in her small village. When she moved to Almaty with her family, she expanded her business and sold everything that was in demand – food, cosmetics, toys, etc.

During this time, she got to know the microfinance institution KMF Microfinance Organisation LLC, which has been in existence for over 20 years, and bought clothes for sale with the help of small loans of 50-150 thousand KZT (Kazakh tenge) (approx. 110-328 USD). After some time, she already had several stalls at the Almaty flea market and a thriving business in which her husband and son were also involved.

I’d rather turn down an order than complete it badly. It’s a great feeling when customers come back with new orders or recommend us to their friends

Ultugan Kyzaibekova

But Ultugan had a greater vision: She began attending sewing courses, took on orders for tailored clothes and gained regular customers over time. When production began to grow, she opened a sewing workshop. She took out another loan to buy sewing machines and other equipment. The location of the workshop near an important bus stop aided her in her success: travellers would come to the capital to shop and became interested in high-quality alternatives to Chinese clothing. The main assortment of the tailor shop was eventually determined by demand: Ultugan receives orders from government agencies for the production of work clothes and uniforms with state symbols and badges.

After a few years, Ultugan founded a company intended to participate as a subcontractor in large tenders for sewing uniforms for government agencies. By taking out more loans, she was able to constantly improve her equipment and therefore her product range. Her next goal is to buy a plot of land and build a large sewing factory in Almaty. She also wants to apply for funding from KMF for this project.

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A success story from Zira, Azerbaijan: Red Globe LLC, which has become a pioneer in organic production, was able to expand its business thanks to an SME loan from TuranBank. At a time when more and more people are paying attention to their diet and prefer organic products, this is an impressive example of sustainable agriculture.

The Red Globe LLC company is one of the pioneers in growing organic vegetables in Azerbaijan. It was founded seven years ago in Zira, a district on the outskirts of the capital Baku, and is specifically engaged in growing organic tomatoes and grapes. Seven years ago, Red Globe LLC was still a small business in organic crop production.

Thanks to the support of TuranBank, the company has been able to establish itself as a leading supplier of organic products in its region. In addition to serving as a role model for sustainable cultivation, the company also provides important employment for the surrounding villagers during harvest time. TuranBank’s loans helped Red Globe LLC gradually upgrade irrigation systems and other equipment needed for cultivation. Modern and durable greenhouses were also built. In addition, TuranBank also helped the company gain more know-how in the area of efficient production increase.

In addition to its success in producing healthy food, Red Globe LLC has been able to employ over 80 people during the harvest season, providing an income opportunity for the people and families in the surrounding villages.

The company strongly believes that organic fruits and vegetables are important for human health. It plans to further expand its organic operation and hopes to make a positive social impact by providing employment opportunities.

We are proud that this investment has contributed to the United Nations’ 8th Sustainable Development Goal, “decent work and economic growth.” It demonstrates how positive change can be created through SME financing and sustainable agriculture.

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Florist Nino Peikrishvili is 27 years old and runs flower stores in downtown Tbilisi. She opened her first store at the age of 19. When she decided to expand her business model, she took a loan from FINCA Bank Georgia. Today, her stores are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In addition, for the first time, customers can purchase flowers via online ordering.

She uses a variety of decorative materials for her flowers, which she offers for purchase in specially designated flower buckets. In the eyes of the young entrepreneur, the most important prerequisite for business success is a clear vision of business operations and the right partners by her side.

Today, Ms. Peikrishvili manages four stores with a team of eight employees.

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Victor Efros, a 61-year-old agronomist, started his own vineyard in 2001 in the village of Pașcani in the Criuleni district. This business model is very popular in Moldova. Before that, he attended numerous national and international viticulture seminars and learned everything you need to know to make money from this business. However, Victor Efros offers something special: he grows wine using the European method with Moldovan grapes. Today Victor and his son are very proud of ten hectares of high quality grapes.

Viticulture is a seasonal business and his team is constantly changing. In the off-season, he employs five people. For the harvest season, he needs more than 20 employees to finish all the work on time.

Victor Efros took out a loan to introduce automation processes in his vineyard. The loan he received enabled him to purchase modern equipment and machinery.

Another feature of Victor Efros’ vineyard is that a rose bush grows at the beginning of each row of vines. This is a nice side effect, as the roses make the plantation look more colorful. But the real reason is that the rose has the same immune system as the vine. As soon as the first signs of disease are visible on the rose’s petals, he can act quickly to keep the vineyard healthy.

Microinvest, a microfinance institution, is a major player in the Moldovan microfinance market. Founded in 2003, Microinvest currently lends to more than 20,000 borrowers, including many farmers and small entrepreneurs. The microfinance institution has a gross loan portfolio of over 47 million euros and lends an average of 2,094 euros. Thanks to Microinvest’s loans, Victor Efros was able to gradually automate his vineyard. He acquired his own harvesting machine and built a wine cellar to store the wine.

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How about a mirror that plays your favorite music, walks itself in after you shower, and automatically responds to movement? Sounds magical doesn’t it? Not for Petru Schiopu’s team, who can turn any mirror into something more than just a decorative element. In 2018, Petru Schiopu approached the microfinance institute Microinvest and presented his vision and ideas from Millory. The business idea includes the individualized development of LED-illuminated premium mirrors. There is no function that Petru Schiopu could not implement with his company.

From the very beginning, Microinvest has believed in us and our idea.

Petru Schiopu

Microinvest’s first loan was taken for the purchase of equipment such as machines, tools and raw materials. Later, thanks to another loan, Petru invested in a company car to ensure delivery and installation of the mirrors. For over 19 years, Microinvest has been supporting Moldovan companies and individuals who choose to improve their quality of life through their own ambition. In the case of Petru with success! Petru reports that there were many ups and downs.

Over time, the company went through all phases of corporate development: competition, lack of personnel, unstable order situation. But Microinvest has always stood by them. Now, for the next 5 years, Petru and his team at Millory plan to enter the European market to produce more than 10,000 mirrors per month and decorate people’s homes with smart mirrors. We congratulate Petru and his team from the bottom of our hearts for their success.

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Sergey Moon from the village of Zhanaturmys in Kazakhstan has been growing vegetables for over 25 years. He says it’s a difficult but honorable endeavor. So he gave up his job as an aircraft technician to grow tomatoes.

With “KH Kazakhstan-2030”, his idea became a farm that today covers 150 hectares of land on which three crops are grown: onions, corn and tomatoes.

I realized that farming is a very ‘pure’ profession. It is impossible to cheat for the sake of profit. Everything is as transparent as possible. You can touch, examine and taste the product. The quality cannot be faked. In addition, there is the constant stay in the fresh air, the gratitude of people who have a permanent job in the field. What could be better than agriculture?

Sergey Moon

To ensure that fresh vegetables get to the market counters, and then to the tables of households, work in “KH Kazakhstan-2030” is in full swing all year round. More than 100 people are employed as seasonal workers, whom Sergey hires in neighboring villages. In the fall, the soil is plowed here, in the winter the seeds are planted, in the spring the cuttings are planted in greenhouses, and in the summer they are taken from the greenhouses to the field. They are harvested only at the end of July – beginning of August.

Sergey Moon has been a loyal client of KMF LLC, the largest microfinance institution in Kazakhstan, for the past few years. In 2019, he bought a drip irrigation system with a loan. Part of the money also went to spring field work. The loan was taken out for three years, with an 11-month grace period. In the winter of the same year, with the help of the KMF, Sergey also paid off suppliers and replenished his working capital. In February 2020, Sergey was able to finance the expansion of the irrigation systems and the purchase of fertilizers, fuel and lubricants with another loan.

According to Sergey Moon, buying a drip irrigation system with the help of a KMF microcredit took his business to a new level. “It’s a huge saving in terms of resources. Above all, time. With the furrow method, it takes us nine hours to irrigate 10 hectares. With drip irrigation, it takes three hours. So we save water because we use it three times less. In addition, you can thus affecting the quality of the products.

Because we can apply any fertilizer directly to the root. And of course all this helps to save on labor costs and survive even the driest years,” says Sergey Moon. Sergey Moon’s farm sells vegetables in almost all regions of Kazakhstan, and also exports to Russia, Kyrgyzstan and other neighboring countries.

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Naim Takaci got the idea of opening his own small dairy business from his parents, who worked in livestock farming and were involved in the production of dairy products. However, the difficulty was to sell the dairy products. So Naim started a small dairy business in his hometown using the products from his parents’ farm.

He decided to open a branch in the capital Tirana after a successful start of the business in the countryside. To do this, he needed start-up capital to finance the machinery and equipment. Through friends, Naim learned about Fondi BESA, one of the most important microfinance institutions in the country.

The loan from Fondi BESA enabled him to start a business with his own production and sales, with the whole family helping. With a second loan from Fondi BESA and – as Naim points out – the support and personal interaction of the loan officer, Naim was able to meet the increasing demand and ensure the high quality of his products.

Fondi BESA speaks of Naim as a reliable customer who always pays back his installments on time and is extremely committed to successfully selling quality dairy products with his farm.

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