Business Connections Program


The two-year Business Connections Program, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Government of Kazakhstan (GOKZ), built the capacity and competitiveness of Kazakhstani small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through modernization and expansion initiatives. The program was aligned with the GOKZ’s broader national development plan to diversify the economy through the development of Kazakhstani SMEs. Specifically, the Business Connections Program also supported the objectives of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade and the JSC Entrepreneurship Development Fund (DAMU). Our role was to identify expert agriculture trainers, plans and volunteer experts, and to assist in the creation of agriculture related training materials to meet the program’s objectives.

Program Approach:

  • Identified qualified U.S. agricultural business experts to develop training curriculums and deliver business management courses to Kazakhstan participants;
  • Led selection process of participants, chosen to represent Kazakhstani companies in targeted industry sectors through study tours;
  • Facilitated three-week long study tours, which included industry-specific training, business meetings with U.S. companies, roundtable seminars and trade shows;
  • Redesigned the DAMU business portal to encourage information sharing and distance learning among participants.