Karoy residents won WWF Russia grants to develop small business
In early October of this year an award ceremony of the annual Small Grants Program of WWF Russia was held in Karoy village of the Republic of Kazakhsatn. The event was organized by The Ecobioproject Public Foundation. The program is aimed to develop environmentally friendly small businesses in the region.
In total 10 million tenge was allocated for the grants. From the beginning of 2020, the Program was directed to finance the service projects for the population, as well as involving women in the development of entrepreneurship.
A poll conducted last year in the Ile-Balkhash region showed that the interviewed women, when were asked about their personal plans for the near future, declared their readiness to “open their own business” - 40.3%. 36.4 percents of women were going to continue doing housework. Another 16.4% “would like to get an additional profession”, and 9.4% - want to get an additional education, 5.5% declared their desire to engage in socially useful work and civic activity.
Thus, the overwhelming majority of Karoy women - 72.2% - stated their desire to change the traditional way of life for the region in the future and take a more active economic and social position. The Small Grants Program has provided timely support for such endeavors.
The commission included Grigory Mazmaniants - director of the WWF Russia Central Asian programme, Zhassar Adilbayev - head of the Ecobioproject, Olga Pereladova - scientific consultant of the WWF Central Asian program, and Lina Waldshmit - head of the tourism and environmental education department of the “Ile-Balkhash”.
In total, 34 applications from the local population were submitted. Based on the demands of the competition, the commission selected 16 applications which best meet the requirements of the project:
opening of a vulcanization point, production of traditional national goods (felt, blankets, bags, souvenirs), computer services, opening of a confectionery shop, melon-growing, beekeeping, dairy products processing, planting of corn and lucerne, opening of a bath complex with a hairdresser, ice cream production, launching a sewing and knitting shops, opening of a mini cafe.
It should be said that unemployment in the region also is one of the most pressing problems - 65.2% of respondents noted this in a poll. Since the start of the Small Grants Program (2018), the situation in Karoy and nearby villages is gradually changing for the better.
57.3% of Karoy residents from 30 to 45 years old (target group of the project) are in favor of creating new jobs that will influence the increase of household income.
The Small Grants Program is the part of the program of the reintroduction of the Caspian tiger, which WWF Russia is implementing with the government of Kazakhstan.