For many companies, units and people, 2020 has been a transformational year.
It was not only unexpected, but also opening up new opportunities in the changed conditions, which, of course, gave rise to growth.
The Social Development Fund has also expanded its horizons. This year, we not only continued to promote programs for the development of student self-government and public associations, create favorable conditions for ensuring a high-quality educational process, academic and scientific activities, but also launched a new area of activity – supporting social entrepreneurship and social innovation. Nowadays, ideas of social projects of Nazarbayev University go out to the broad masses of Kazakhstani society, interested in creating socially useful initiatives.
Launched #SDFGRANTS Program, which supports social initiatives, reviewed 150 applications. At the expense of the allocated funds, the development of 9 social projects was started. All these projects are in line with the values of Nazarbayev University. The total amount of funding exceeded 31 mil. tenge. You will definitely hear about the success of these projects in the coming year. In addition, the plans for 2021 are to announce the second stream of selection of competitive applications.
Another important direction for us, as well as for the whole country, was the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. In 2020, we made a contribution to the fight against COVID-19 and its consequences by allocating funds for the purchasing laptops for children of medical workers, personal protective equipment, as well as the remuneration of volunteers from among medical students.
The Fund also plans to focus on impact investing and continuing the implementation of past social programs. Meanwhile, the subsidiary company «Astana Business Campus» LLP (ABC) plans to focus on managing venture financing and technology projects. At the same time, projects that receive support from the Fund and have a high entrepreneurial potential in the future have the chances of get fundings from ABC. In the selection, priority will be given to projects that comply with high ESG indicators – contribution to the preservation of the environment, favorable relations with all stakeholders, as well as adherence to best corporate governance practices.
In this way, the Fund will continue the journey that began in 2020, in order to benefit a wide range of the population by contributing to the development of social innovation that can have a long-term impact on society.