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Accelerate Prosperity, a global initiative in Central and South Asia, promotes entrepreneurship with an …

AKDN / Christopher Wilton-Steer

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Accelerate Prosperity provides technical and business expertise and market connections to small and growing …

AKDN / Christopher Wilton-Steer

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Artisans in Naryn, Kyrgyzstan produce traditional slippers and other textiles. The group's entrepreneurial …

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After receiving business training and a seed grant from AKF's USAID-funded Youth Skills Programme, Temirlan …

AKDN / Christopher Wilton-Steer

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Kyrgyz Republic | Economic Development


The Kyrgyz Investment and Credit Bank (KICB) serves over 324,000 clients

The Kyrgyz Investment and Credit Bank (KICB).
KICB currently serves over 415,000 clients through a network of 39 branches located across all provinces of the Kyrgyz Republic.


Financial Services

Kyrgyz Investment and Credit Bank

The Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED) is one of the founders and a principal shareholder of the Kyrgyz Investment and Credit Bank (KICB), established in 2001. As of February 2021, KICB’s shareholders’ equity amounted to US$ 70.5 million, including the charter capital of US$ 17.5 million. This makes KICB the largest capitalised bank in the Kyrgyz Republic. KICB currently serves over 324,000 clients, with a customer deposit base of US$ 286 million.

The Bank has one of the largest networks, including 184 ATMs and 45 branches (in all oblasts of the country), with headquarters in Bishkek. The Bank employs over 1,100 people. KICB was recognised as the Best Commercial Bank of the year in 2018 and 2019 by The Banker and the Best Bank in Kyrgyz Republic in 2015 by EUROMONEY.

In line with its core activity, KICB invests in long- and medium-term projects in the Kyrgyz Republic’s main economic sectors, including agriculture, manufacturing, construction and light industry. KICB has expanded into the retail market, becoming one of the top two commercial banks, with a total deposit base of US$ 286.7 million and one of the top four banks, with a gross loan portfolio of US$ 166.1 million as of February 2021.

In line with regulators’ policy to increase the share of non-cash settlements and transactions, KICB is also the second biggest shareholder at the national processing centre IPC (Interbank Processing Center), after the National Bank of the Kyrgyz Republic. KICB actively promotes local and international banking cards such as ELCARD, VISA, MasterCard and Union Pay International.

In 2021, KICB acquired CJSC First Microfinance Company (FMFC). This will contribute to financial inclusion, offering affordable and attractive loan products to the micro-, small- and medium-sized businesses (MSME) sector. Its goal is to combine the best international standards in microcredit, including those used in FMFC, a bigger funding base and effective digital delivery channels, which will streamline delivery of MSME microcredits at lower costs.

Electronic Banking

In February 2020, KICB updated the ELSOM electronic wallet, which provides banking products even in very remote areas. ELSOM enables its 500,000 users to receive and send money internally and abroad, open and manage bank/card accounts and deposit money. Over 10,000 service agents throughout the country provide ELSOM banking services.

Corporate Social Responsibility

KICB regularly conducts training to improve the financial literacy of the population.

KICB and partners initiated the Green Foundation to make the Kyrgyz Republic more ecological, to encourage the public to respect nature and leave future generations a greener city. The first tree planting within the framework of the Green Foundation project took place in 2012. KICB and its partners have now planted more than 14,000 seedlings, providing clean air for Bishkek’s residents.

Since 2006 AKF has worked to strengthen opportunities for women to operate small enterprises. It provided training and equipment to female entrepreneurs in order to increase production, and improve quality and marketing. AKF KR
Since 2006 AKF has worked to strengthen opportunities for women to operate small enterprises. It provided training and equipment to female entrepreneurs in order to increase production, and improve quality and marketing.


Work and Enterprise

Enterprise Development

AKF’s Mountain Societies Development Support Programme (MSDSP) recognises that having a range of income streams helps poor households manage uncertainty more successfully.

Accordingly, MSDSP has worked since 2006 to strengthen opportunities for women to operate small enterprises. We have provided training and equipment to female entrepreneurs in order to increase production and improve quality and marketing. Sectors supported include handicrafts, bakeries and dairies. We have reached 131 enterprises and enterprise groups, and employed 1,100 people (48 percent women). Moving forward, MSDSP will focus its non-farm enterprise development activities in Osh and Jalal-Abad, and continue to promote appropriate financial services for small businesses.

In order to boost the development of small and growing businesses (SGBs), AKF and AKFED’s Industrial Promotion Services initiated Accelerate Prosperity (AP) in 2016. This initiative aims to inspire entrepreneurship, facilitate innovative business models, coach promising entrepreneurs, create networks and mentorship opportunities, and accelerate business growth. Since its inception, AP has accelerated 125 SGBs. Out of those, nine have secured capital investments to the amount of US$ 186,000, creating 90 new jobs.

Future of Work

To create decent and meaningful work for youth, AKF’s Future of Work Framework advances three key areas:

  • mobilising demand for young workers from large employers and the outsourcing world;

  • supporting youth businesses and innovative work arrangements to create new employment; and

  • increasing investments in the skills of the future.

With that in mind, AKF has started mobilising national- and local-level coalitions of employers through business and social incentives to train and recruit youth from rural, poor and marginalised backgrounds.

AP supported the local co-working space Ololohaus to expand its activities in the southern part of the country. This provides convening space for youth to generate new ideas. It connects them to local and global work opportunities using technology and business platforms that are otherwise less accessible to youth due to high cost and infrastructure constraints.

In the coming years, AKF will also promote digital economy literacy amongst 1,000 youth in the country, in addition to providing 1,500 youth with skills in high-demand vocations and growth professions. Finally, through the launch of our Youth Entrepreneurship and Employable Skills Framework, we will develop and augment the foundational skills of 450 in-school or out-of-school youth. This will include cognitive, behavioural, adaptive, digital and entrepreneurship skills, critical to thriving in the fast-changing world of work.