Tengizchevroil identifies and facilitates loans at no interest to boost small business development in Kazakhstan

In the 20 years since the dissolution of the former Soviet Union, Kazakhstan has experienced economic setbacks and increased poverty. One major hurdle to small business growth is lack of financing for loans. However, the Central Asian nation has attracted investors.

One of those investors, Tengizchevroil, and its subsidiary Small Business Development Group, have played a role to stimulate regional economic growth and employment. Chevron became the first major Western oil company to operate in Kazakhstan when it formed Tengizchevroil (TCO) in 1993.

TCO then established the Small Business Development Group (SBD) with the twin goals of incubating Kazakhstan’s Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs), while also increasing the supply chain of locally produced goods and services. As a part of this process, SBD identifies and facilitates loans at no interest to aspiring and existing small businesses that support and include social and environmental goals.

Initially, the Small Business Development Group (SBD) incubated SMEs through a partnership with UNDP and Citibank. Between 2002 and 2008, the partnership provided SMEs with technical, legal, administrative and financial support. More recently, SBD has helped small businesses obtain interest-free loans. As the programme seeks businesses that will have a beneficial impact on social and environmental issues, local communities also benefit. At the same time, TCO benefits from having a supply chain close at hand.

Further information


Partnership types

Doing business with the poor

Regions / countries / territories

Asia: Kazakhstan

Global issues

Job creation and enterprise development; Energy

Business sectors