Financial program helps small businesses boom in Mongolia

Embassy Ulaanbaatar personnel, including Ambassador Richard Buangan (second from right), tour Shuten Uul, LLC, in Darkhan, Mongolia, December 2022. The company makes workwear and safety clothing for private industry, the police, disaster management agencies, and the military.  Photo courtesy of Embassy Ulaanbaatar
Embassy Ulaanbaatar personnel, including Ambassador Richard Buangan (second from right), tour Shuten Uul, LLC, in Darkhan, Mongolia, December 2022. The company makes workwear and safety clothing for private industry, the police, disaster management agencies, and the military. Photo courtesy of Embassy Ulaanbaatar

By John S. Brown

During a recent trip to visit the birthplace of Chinggis Khan for the Khan’s 861st birthday, US Ambassador to Mongolia Richard Buangan stopped to sample coffee and banana bread at the LEDO Café in Chinggis City, Khentii Province, Mongolia. With the help of USAID’s Business Excellence for Sustainability and Transparency (BEST) program, the café secured a low-interest loan of approximately $21,000, which allowed it to scale up its operations significantly, including opening a new branch and expanding its product offerings. Sales revenues increased by 30%, and it was able to create three new jobs. LEDO is one of many successful small businesses driving economic growth and prosperity in Mongolia with the support of the BEST program.

With nearly 60% of the population under the age of 30 years, Mongolia’s rising leaders play a significant role in Mongolia’s future as a sovereign and self-reliant democracy. Nowhere is this fact more evident than in business. Although