Just in time for International Women’s Day, ForteBank is launching a campaign to help promote female entrepreneurship which isn’t terribly unusual, except it’s in Kazakhstan.
Discussing women’s rights is deemed inappropriate in Kazakhstani society, as is a woman’s desire to study or work. Yet, nearly 9 million Kazakhstan women account for 40% of the country’s GDP. Forty-three percent of all Kazakhstan’s small and medium-sized businesses are operated by women and 52% of the country’s sole proprietors are female, according to Damu Entrepreneurship Development Fund.
Kazakhstan is a Central Asian country and former Soviet republic. It extends from the Caspian Sea in the west to the Altai Mountains at its eastern border with China and Russia.
ForteBank is addressing this paradox by producing Forte Femme perfume. They have distributed the fragrance to prominent female entrepreneurs throughout the country, encouraging them to daub their cash with it. The scented banknotes in circulation are now being dispensed at ATMs across the nation.
Pink cash register tape is also being distributed to help support the campaign, which includes a 30-second TV spot from Voskhod Agency, Moscow.
The spot begins like a classic perfume promotion before revealing a bank is behind the scent. Well-known female entrepreneurs discuss how important women are to Kazakhstan's economy.
Kazakhstan is a region where women are traditionally expected to play the archetypal role of stay-at-home mothers, yet they contribute a huge amount to the country’s GDP, says Anton Kim, head of marketing, ForteBank.
“We wanted to address this imbalance and champion the role of women in our economy,” Kim stated. “Encouraging the distribution of scented banknotes will raise awareness of this issue and demonstrate how important women are to our economic development.”