Empowering women's business initiatives is a sure way toward a society’s wellbeing and prosperity. Astana hosted a conference to mark the International Women's Day celebrated on March 8. The Canadian Embassy in Kazakhstan organized the forum. More than 60 domestic and foreign participants shared their ideas on how to strengthen the support for businesses led by women. The forum also presented the Canadian experience in this area. Today Canada is a world’s leader in gender equality. The Canadian women make up almost half of the state's labor force and make a significant contribution to the country's economy.

NICHOLAS BROUSSEAU, CANADIAN AMBASSADOR TO KAZAKHSTAN:

- For example, McKinsey estimates that narrowing the gender gap in Canada could add US$150 billion to Canada’s economy by 2026. The positive impact on integration of women in Kazakhstan’s economy would be commensurably impactful. It has the potential to be a major piece in Kazakhstan’s growth over the major term. 

Experts highlighted that the share of women in Kazakhstan’s economically active population is growing. Kazakh businesswomen are taking part in the implementation of all major state programs including the 2020 Business Road Map and the 2017-2021 Program for Development of Productive Employment and Mass Entrepreneurship. Various financial institutions and the Damu Fund support the Kazakh businesswomen. According to experts, President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s initiative to expand microloans will have a positive impact on the development of women's entrepreneurship. It is estimated that the microloans will be given to 14,000 people and this figure is twice as high as last year.

RAUSHAN SARSEMBAYEVA, PRESIDENT, ASSOCIATION OF BUSINESSWOMEN OF KAZAKHSTAN:

- In Kazakhstan we do a lot to promote women in the economy, especially in business. We have created unprecedented measures for women to do business. The head of state said that more than 20 billion will be invested in the development of women's business and to support women in business. This is the needs of the reality and of globalization.

In fact, the world practices show that development of women's entrepreneurship contributes to stability of economies. This means that support and investment in this area will continue.

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