USAID has selected IESC as the prime implementer of the two-year Kazakhstan Business Connections Program under a Leader with Associate Award from the Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance (VEGA). IESC is leading a team of sub-partners, CNFA and the Graduate School, to build the capacity and competitiveness of Kazakh SMEs through their modernization and expansion by supporting new business initiatives, improvement of entrepreneurial sector and supporting export oriented industries.
Awarded in October 2011, the Business Connections Program works to achieve these goals via three distinct but interrelated components:
- Identification of trainers to develop course curriculum and deliver training to Turan Profi, a Kazakh academic institution, on a variety of cross-cutting business training courses.
- Study Tours and Roundtable Seminars – the IESC team leads a series of study tours to the U.S. for Kazakh delegations in the agriculture, information communication technology ICT), healthcare, and transportation logistics sectors including industry specific training, business meetings, roundtable seminars, and participation in trade shows.
- Expansion of the JSC Entrepreneurship Development Fund (DAMU) Web portal to revamp and drive web traffic to the site, which contains business related material, makes regular announcements, and serves as a valuable resource for Kazakh businesses and entrepreneurs.