|During Project Implementation
Loan was financially closed on 20 January 2016. The loan was fully disbursed by December 2015 1.5 years before the completion date. The
disbursement was made through 2 PFIs (Hamkorbank and Ipak Yuly Bank). The outcome and outputs' targets of the project have fully been achieved. It provided 10,500 new loans to small businesses of which 50% were provided to rural small businesses and 30% - to women's small businesses. It helped streamline lending processes and improve risk management capacity of the PFIs. The project trained the PFIs' staff to deliver business development and financial literacy training to subborrowers. During 2014-2015, more than 6000 subborrowers received the training.
Impact. The performance target in the Design and Monitoring Framework (DMF) of the project indicates that contribution of small businesses to GDP should increase to 60% by 2020. As of 30 September 2015, small businesses contributed to 53.6% of GDP. By 2020, active female individual entrepreneurs outside the city of Tashkent should increase to 42%. According to preliminary data, at the time of the review mission in December 2015, about 40% of female individual entrepreneurs run businesses outside the city of Tashkent indicating that this performance target is achievable within the specified timeline.
Outcome. There are two performance indicators. The first target is that by 2017 the PCBs should issue at least 50% of the number of new loans to small businesses in areas outside the city of Tashkent (rural small businesses). As of 30 September 2015, 4,212 new loans were issued by the PCBs of which 76% were onlent to rural small businesses. The second target is that by 2017 the PCBs should provide at least 30% of the number of new loans to women's small businesses. As of 30 September 2015, 31.2% of the new loans were onlent to women's small businesses. The outcome performance targets have been achieved well before the target date.
Outputs. The performance indicators for Output 1 are that by 2017, at least (i) 5,000 new microfinance loans, and (ii) 100 new small businesses loans are issued by the PCBs. Two PCBs issued 4,152 microfinance loans and 502 small businesses loans as of 30 September 2015. The indicator (i) has not yet achieved while the indicator (ii) has exceeded the target. The performance indicators for Output 2 are that by 2017, (i) at least 3,000 potential subborrowers trained by PCBs and accessed subloans under the project, of which at least 30% are women; and (ii) the number of small businesses registered reaches 310,000. As of 30 September 2015, the total of 8,765 business clients were trained by the PCBs and only 4,055 subborrowers (or 46.2%) received loans. Of these subborrowers, 1,471 (or 36.5%) were women who were trained and accessed loans. The targets have been achieved. According to the official statistics, as of 1 January 2015, 221,140 enterprises were registered as micro and small enterprises. It is expected that this indicator is achievable (target: 310,000) by 2017.
Gender Action Plan (GAP). Two PCBs have adopted the Gender Strategies which are aligned with their overall business strategies. The implementation of the GAP is on track. The outreach to women clients increased. Of the total number of microfinance loans issued to qualified subborrowers, more than 30% were to women small businesses. Based on the data provided by the PCBs, as of 30 September 2015 the project created 7,639 jobs of which 2,941 jobs were for women. The PCBs gather sex-disaggregated data on a regular basis. The PCBs have formed the gender teams who are responsible for the Gender Strategy implementation and have appointed the gender focal points responsible for tracking the progress of the GAP.
Technical Assistance (TA). The TA consultants were engaged during April 2014-December 2015 to deliver the TA's main outputs as follows (i) improving capacity of PCBs to lend to women's small businesses and rural small businesses; (ii) improving capacity of women's small businesses and rural small businesses; and (iii) strengthening regulatory and supervisory framework for the development and supervision of e-banking. The TA helped streamline internal organizational structure of the microfinance department, credit appraisal procedures, and develop new risk management dashboard and reporting template, performance management systems for loans officers, and credit scoring tool. Intensive capacity-building was provided in fundamentals of micro lending, loan appraisal techniques, process mapping and process optimization, tools for management of customer experience and risk management strategy. The training on microfinance lending was provided to over 120 staff of the PCBs, including at regional level. The TA provided strong support to the PCBs in the development of the gender strategies which were approved by the board of directors. The TA experts trained the trainers to conduct trainings for women clients. The impact evaluation specialist conducted the survey to assess the impact of the project on access to finance by rural and women's small businesses. The TA financed the study tour to the Philippines for 3 staff of the Central Bank of Uzbekistan on financial inclusion.