KYRGYZSTAN: Micro-credit promotes rural business culture

Friday, July 1, 2005

The programme In Kyrgyzstan began in 1998, in a small group of villages participating in a pilot scheme. When that proved successful it spread throughout Kyrgyzstan and today operates in 130 villages. It works by organising low income communities into self-help groups that then blossom into rural cooperatives and micro-credit agencies. The programme is based on the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that aims to boost rural livelihoods, among other things and the National Poverty Reduction Strategy (NPRS).

“There are several aims to our programme: to teach people how to work with money and credits; to make financial services available to rural populations; to develop rural business; and to foster an entrepreneurial culture among the rural population,” Nyria Choibaeva, manager of the scheme, said in the city of Jalal-Abad.

Changing the culture is the key to success, say staff involved in the micro-enterprise programme. During the Soviet period, the majority of villagers were assigned to collective farms, decisions were taken at district level and the government always provided enough to get by. Now, business initiative and local problem solving are encouraged, to hammer home the message that the old Soviet dependency culture is over forever.
Story found here.

Source: IRIN