The USAID-funded Diversification of Monotown Economies (DOME) program aims to create jobs, develop micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), and support to local business organizations in six monotowns across the Karaganda region of Kazakhstan. Because the economies of these Karaganda towns are reliant on one industry, residents have an increased vulnerability to market shocks. The program generates economic growth by focusing on three core activities: improving business consultants’ capacity to offer new services and consultations on new topics, providing entrepreneurs with the skills and resources needed to open new ventures or develop their current businesses, and developing trainings for women and youth to help them create or expand start-ups.
Diversification of Monotown Economies
The USAID DOME Impact
Number of new jobs created by program beneficiaries
Increase in annual revenues by local small- and medium-sized companies
Contracts secured by DOME-trained and certified business consultants
Number of businesses that have expanded to new local and international markets
"I learned a lot of helpful information during the entrepreneurship training. Many of the situations faced by other entrepreneurs that we reviewed during the training helped me in making decision for my own company."
Mari Tour Company
With multiple constraints affecting entrepreneurs in Kazakhstan, including limited access to finance, high tax rates, and the lack of qualified workers, it is hard for local small and medium enterprises to establish competitive businesses. These challenges are further exacerbated in monotowns, where markets are highly dependent on a single buyer of goods and services. In July 2013, recognizing the need to address monotowns’ socio-economic sustainability, USAID funded a program to diversify the economies of six cities in the Karaganda region.
Diversification of Monotown Economies Program (DOME) aims to create jobs, develop micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), and strengthen local business support organizations in six monotowns in the Karaganda region of Kazakhstan. The program is focused on the three core activities: improving business consultants’ capacity to offer new services and consultations on new topics, providing entrepreneurs with the skills and resources needed to open new ventures or develop their current businesses, and developing trainings for women and youth to help them create or expand start-ups.
To build the local capacity, DOME trained 40 local business consultants on the core business modules including strategic and business planning, human resource management, marketing and sales, finance for non-financiers and tax and law. The trained consultants have already delivered consulting and trainings on business topics to 350 MSMEs. In combination with the grant assistance provided, the outcome will be stronger MSMEs that are ready to grow further by implementing innovations or product expansion.
Additionally, in order to encourage women-entrepreneurs and youth to start or expand their businesses, DOME program organized two Business Case Competitions to provide an opportunity for young entrepreneurs to expand their professional network, obtain mentorship, and be trained on business modeling. Youth age 18-35 seeking to improve their entrepreneurial skills and make their first steps towards implementation of their business ideas were targeted for the competitions.
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