The USAID Business Connections Project is implemented in Kazakhstan to build the capacity and competitiveness of Kazakhstani small and medium enterprises. This program is co-funded by USAID and the Government of Kazakhstan under the framework of the Kazakhstan-U.S. Program for Economic Development (PED), and the design and idea for this project was provided by the Government of Kazakhstan – the project contributes to the national business development strategy “Roadmap of Business 2020”.
- Enhance training of small and medium enterprise owners and top managers by providing American business practitioners to the Turan-Profi Academy to deliver specialized training;
- Organize business development tours to the U.S. for 160 Kazakhstani businesses from different sectors of economy;
- Provide recommendations and technical assistance to the DAMU Fund (analogue of the U.S. Small Business Association) in order to expand access to online training materials and increase traffic to two DAMU web-portals – www.damu.kz and www.dkb2020.kz .
- Ten groups with a total number of 118 entrepreneurs from various sectors, including health care, information technologies, agriculture and food processing, construction, and transport and logistics, visited the United States on three-week tours. During the tours they received one-week sector specific training and visited 3-4 states where they met with federal and local authorities, business associations, business companies, and attended trade shows and fairs.
- Thirteen Kazakhstani companies concluded contracts with American counterparts in 2012-2013 valued at about $12 million. The largest contract is a three-year $10 million contract of an IT company from the city of Karaganda on the purchase of mobile connection stations. Other contracts include distribution of pharmaceutical products, opening of dealer centers for cement products, purchase of mobile concrete machines, distribution of IT products and services, subcontracts to an American IT education company, and the purchase of thermal and moist regulators for vegetable stores.
- The unique number of visitors of the DAMU website increased by 82% during one year, as of 2013.