Mongolia’s mining sector accounts for almost one-quarter of the national GDP but this strong concentration in a single industry leaves the country vulnerable to economic shocks. With a national poverty rate of almost 30 percent, Mongolia is seeking to diversify its economy and provide more opportunity for workers in rural communities.
Solution and Impact
DFC's $5 million loan is helping Goyol Cashmere, a local producer of wool and cashmere knitwear, construct a new factory and purchase additional equipment in order to expand production. Cashmere is the third largest export in Mongolia, where cashmere goats are well suited for the harsh climate. The country's cashmere industry, which represents 28 percent of the world's cashmere market, provides stable incomes to over 100,000 people across the country. Goyol Cashmere sources 50 percent of its raw cashmere materials from rural herders to produce high-quality knitwear that is exported to bolster Mongolia's economy.
The project advances DFC’s 2X Women’s Initiative to support businesses that economically empower women. Goyol Cashmere was founded by Ariunaa Byambakhuu, an entrepreneur who started to create her own knitwear as a teenager while working at a cashmere factory. She launched her business in 2005 and has expanded from five employees to more than 100, 80 percent of whom are women. Byambakhuu remains a majority shareholder in the business today and supports the many working mothers she employs, with onsite childcare and employee housing.