Dushanbe, Tajikistan, September 19, 2012
—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has supported a new award recognizing female entrepreneurs in Tajikistan, part of an effort to encourage the active participation of women in the country’s economy.
Through the National Association of Business Women of Tajikistan, IFC supported the Farah 2012 Women in Business Contest, which concluded last week. Over 285 female entrepreneurs participated in the event, which recognized women who have made substantial contributions to their local economy. The overall winner, farmer and restaurateur Zamirahon Kakhorova, won a $20,000 prize provided by microfinance institution IMON International, an IFC client.
“By launching this contest we want to encourage women’s entrepreneurship in the country, recognize the significant contribution of women entrepreneurs to the economy, and raise public awareness about gender and business development,” said Sanavbar Sharipova, CEO of IMON International.
In Tajikistan, women are traditionally expected to focus on the home and on raising children, making it much tougher for them to make headway in the business world.
“To succeed in business, women have to find a balance in their lives with respect to business and household obligations,” said Cholpon Kokumova, Project Manager for IFC’s Central Asia Microfinance Transformation Support Project. “Through supporting the contest, IFC aims to promote equal opportunities for female entrepreneurship.”
As part of the initiative, two promising entrepreneurs were selected by IFC’s Central Asia Microfinance Transformation Support Project to receive specialized training to improve their business skills. IFC’s Tajikistan Investment Climate Project also organized a meeting between 50 Farah award finalists and female students to establish mentorship opportunities, providing strong and successful female role models for younger women.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, mobilizing capital in international financial markets, and providing advisory services to businesses and governments. In FY12, our investments reached an all-time high of more than $20 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs, spark innovation, and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit
About IMON International
A leading microfinance institution and co-founder of the National Association of Business Women, IMON International had a portfolio worth $61 million as of June 30, 2012. IMON is supporting a women’s development agenda through financial inclusion, training, and consultations. As of August 31, 2012 the company had provided 186 training sessions and 3,600 consultations for more than 5,600 women and disbursed about 5,000 loans totalling more than $5.4 million. For more information, visit