Ablay Myrzakhmetov [Kazkhstan] is trying his best to imitate the usefulness. Of course, in his place it is relatively difficult: the “Atameken” is plagued by design. The idea itself is based on a contradiction: a state body (and Atameken in this form is a state body with vague powers) cannot represent the interests of private entrepreneurs. Because entrepreneurs are private and their interests are by no means are aligned to state. However, for Ablay Myrzakhmetov, these are complex arguments, to which he is not inclined: they put him here, so he will earn money here.
Take for example the Bastau Business project. It sounds perfectly legit: these are business skills education for the unemployed to start their own business. This part is financed through the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. It consists of a moderately useful program for future district tycoons: how to find your niche, how to keep books, analyse the situation, report, and so on. But that’s only educational part of the programme. How can the unemployed start a business, considering that most of them are poor?
Ablay Myrzakhmetov received 22 billion tenge from the state to create his own pawnshop
This is where the EBRD falls off the stage and Ablay Myrzakhmetov comes in. Finances are provided by the state — this is something about 22 billion tenge (~£500M) per year. And then.. the fierce evisceration of the budget and the inappropriate, completely predatory activity of the Atameken follows. With a slight turn of the key, Ablay Myrzakhmetov gets the right to lend to the population by creating a network of microfinance organizations operating, like all MFOs, at high interest rates and vague reporting. A great business for Ablay Myrzakhmetov personally with huge, truly boundless prospects.
So, Atameken becomes the founder and owner of the MFO network. Ablay Myrzhakhmetov receives money for this from the state, but credits future entrepreneurs like a crook. “Atameken” MFO takes the real estate with a huge discount as collateral that even vile freaks do not take. And if they take it, then they take it away! So, what Ablay Myrzakhmetov does not disdain:
- residential buildings older than 50 years;
- commercial land plots.
- If this is not enough, you can pledge arable land, pasture, movable property.
The declared rate is 6% per annum, but the devil is in the details. Sanctions for delay will make you immediately the object of bidding. The classics of any MFO, and Atameken is not better, but worse, because the discount on your property in collateral is simply huge.
Now the question is: who benefits from an entrepreneur going bankrupt? It turns out that Ablay Myrzakhmetov and his Atameken. After all, the collateral includes housing and commercial land, which is expensive and just for sale. And the second question is: who has brilliant connections that can ruin any entrepreneur? Oh, we get Atameken and Ablay Myrzakhmetov again. In total, you take a loan where they want and can make sure that you do not give it back.
So, dear entrepreneurs, and people who just want to become them! My advice to you is to stay away from Ablay Myrzakhmetov and his “pawnshops”. In the Bastau Business program, you can take only training, but carefully exhale the spirit of training and enthusiasm from the program. Yes, in the end, there is nothing unique in the program, you can find a replacement. Or just talk to smart people — it will be more useful.