On Thursday, 16 June 2022, a workshop on Cleantech Finance for MSMEs was held in Bukhara, Uzbekistan as a part of the European Union, SWITCH-Asia programme funded “Resource Efficiency in Agri-food Production and Processing” (REAP) project. The workshop was attended by nearly 50 agri-food processing MSMEs from Bukhara region (around 25 of them are already working with REAP project) and four financial institutions, banks and micro-credit organizations.
The event was launched with an introduction to the project by Mr. Marcus Müller, Senior Technical Expert, AREC, Austria comprising the overall objective, expected results, main target groups and stakeholders as well as examples of measures already implemented in enterprises to improve resource efficiency, following the advice provided by the REAP technical consultants.
This was followed by a presentation on clean tech finance ecosystem overview by Ms. Aikena Orolbaeva, Analyst, adelphi, Germany. The main international funding programs for resource and energy efficiency in the country, the intermediary banks for them and the gaps in resource efficiency financing and access for MSMEs were highlighted. One of the main objectives of the workshop was to provide knowledge to MSMEs on existing financing opportunities for clean or green technologies, and Mr. Amarnath Munnolimath, Senior Manager, adelphi, Germany covered this topic in detail. These included the terms used for this dimension of financing, success factors for MSMEs applying to financial institutions, aspects for consideration in the selection of the type of financing, and examples of the most common high-cost investments in manufacturing and processing in the participating MSMEs.
For provision of actual information, facilitation of an access to cleantech finance for MSMEs and creation of a platform for networking, four local financial institutions, namely “Mikrokreditbank”, “Hamkor” Bank, “Agrobank” and “Asaka” Bank were invited. They presented affordable financial schemes for technology investments, several of which are supported by international donors and have lower interest rates. Each MSME thereafter had the opportunity to connect directly with financial institution at the event.
The event was an initial outreach action towards assisting MSMEs to access SCP technologies financing, an initiative that will be streamlined (carried out) by the project SCP technical consultants.