Kyrgyzstan, home to 6.2 million people, has experienced several years of stable economic growth. However, poverty still affects about a third of people in rural areas, and many families depend on remittances from workers working overseas, especially in Russia.
FINCA Kyrgyzstan has grown to serve over 116,000 people across the entire country and is actively expanding its footprint through partnerships and low-cost channels such as mobile banking. FINCA Kyrgyzstan is a fully licensed bank, offering a diverse range of savings, credit and money-transfer services. The bank was awarded Smart Certification in recognition of its rigorous client protection practices.
Reaching the Financially Excluded
Financial exclusion is pervasive throughout Kyrgyzstan. Six in ten adults lack access to banking services — higher than the regional average. In the face of such broad gaps in coverage, FINCA Kyrgyzstan is is also driving financial access to the most marginalized populations. Most of its clients live in rural areas and over half are women.
Quality of Life
FINCA's customers in Kyrgyzstan enjoy relatively good living standards compared with their counterparts in the region. Unlike Tajikistan or Georgia, the vast majority of people have safe drinking water in their homes. Likewise, educational levels and access to electricity are better than most other places where FINCA works.
Despite these advantages, internet access is considerably lower than in neighboring countries. This is not surprising considering that most of our customers live in rural areas, and the mountainous terrain of the countryside that makes network coverage more difficult.
Income & Employment
Income & Employment
FINCA's borrowers in Kyrgyzstan are a critical source of employment and wages for hundreds of thousands of people. They run small but profitable businesses, especially in the livestock and services sectors (see Special Topics, below). On average, they employ 2.75 people per enterprise-- nearly 220,000 country-wide. Eighty-three percent of these workers are paid wages that are above the poverty line, multiplying the impact of our loans.
At 55 percent, women make up are larger share of FINCA Kyrgyzstan's borrowers than any other subsidiary in the region. The majority of these women are the main source of income for their families, and 13 percent of them are single mothers. Forty-three percent of the employees hired by our clients are also women, giving them a foothold in the workplace and a chance to support their own families.
Attaining Business and Personal Goals
Like other FINCA clients throughout the region, many of our borrowers in Kyrgyzstan come to FINCA with business-related goals. But a significant portion of them are also focused on household concerns. Like Malawi, which also serves a mostly rural population, Kyrgyzstan has a high proportion of clients whose main goal is to improve their homes or to buy an asset.