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2023 Annual Report: Mobilizing for Systemic Change | View Report

In a groundbreaking initiative, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) partners with Husug, a visionary business in Mongolia, for an advisory project transforming traditional handcraft. With a project size of EUR 6,435, supported by EUR 4,973 from We-Fi funding, this 2021 venture focuses on financial management and strategy improvement. Discover how EBRD’s strategic guidance propels Husug’s success and champions the preservation of Mongolia’s cultural legacy.

Sustainable way of preserving traditional handcraft in Mongolia

Husug is owned by two sisters, Namuun and Sarnai Altangerel, and creates unique wool handcraft and souvenir products. The company aims to produce organic products and preserve the traditional culture of Mongolia while significantly contributing to the well-being of local communities. The organization’s mission is to enhance artisanal livelihoods in an economically, environmentally friendly, and socially sustainable manner.

Namuun and Sarnai Altangerel were successful in the local market but had been facing issues in their accounting and financial management. Thus, they decided to approach the EBRD to obtain advisory services on how to improve their financial management. The EBRD matched them with expert consultants who helped to improve the company’s accounting and reporting systems, including sales revenue, customer’s payments, and inventory accounting.

The consultants also advised to install a new financial management software that digitalised its traditional approach of accounting and resulted in higher efficiency. As a result, the company’s annual turnover increased from EUR 117,782 in 2021 to EUR 149,815 in 2022, and significantly optimised their workflow.

A small company with big vision

Husug has contributed to the growth of a thriving handicraft manufacturing and retail business, bridging the gap between rural artisans and the retail market. Moreover, both sisters are passionate about social innovation and have always given special attention to women facing difficulty accessing work. They have already implemented numerous projects, including workshops, trainings, and technical advice, as well as counselling for cooperatives and women in Mongolia.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) account for about 67 per cent of all registered businesses in Mongolia and employ over 40 per cent of the country’s population. However, most SMEs are microbusinesses. These SMEs face highly restricted access to finance and competitively priced local currency, due to a lack of collateral and credit history and wider banking sector weaknesses that restrict growth potential. Women-led companies face even more challenges in Mongolia and require more efforts to develop their business locally.

Together with We-Fi we provide access to finance through credit lines to local banks dedicated to women-led small and medium-size businesses, and business advice, training and support for women entrepreneurs and women-led businesses.