The economic empowerment of women and the promotion of small- and medium-sized businesses are important elements of Chevron’s social investments in Kazakhstan. In 2015, Chevron launched a new social investment project, Can-Do Women, focused on developing women’s business potential in rural areas of the Akmola region. The project, implemented in partnership with the Union of Women Entrepreneurs of Kazakhstan, was supported by the National Commission for Women’s Affairs and Family and Demographic Policy under the President of Kazakhstan.
The goal of the initiative is to provide women with counseling and mentorship assistance in developing businesses. Through a series of trainings, master classes and roundtable discussions in the regions, the project will help equip women with information on how to use financial tools to create or advance their businesses.
Union Chairwoman and member of the Mazhilis of the Parliament of Kazakhstan Meruert Kazbekova commented that “the most topical issue for business today is our access to financial resources. That is why it is important to create a platform for dialogue to support rural women’s entrepreneurship.”
In addition, the project helps women enhance their financial literacy as well as business and personnel management skills. Participants will then be able to apply for small grants to implement a socially important business idea.
Chevron’s support for the project was based on the principle that small- and medium-sized businesses are the foundation for economic growth in any country. “Our company pays great attention to the development of entrepreneurship,” said Chevron’s Public Affairs Specialist Zhanar Koshpanova. “Earlier, we implemented a retraining programme for unemployed women. Within five years, thousands of women managed new specialties and started businesses, including mini-bakeries, kindergartens, barbershops, seamstress shops, etc. We hope that this programme will also be successful. We believe that with our assistance, women in Kazakhstan will not only improve their financial status, but also help other women, and these would ultimately contribute to the economic growth of our country.”