Unleashing the potential of women entrepreneurs in the Western Balkans
In 2015 the EBRD provided €11.5 million in financing as part of its Women in Business programme to help women entrepreneurs in the Western Balkans access the finance and advice they need to grow their business.
For the first time, the EBRD extended credit lines under the programme in Albania, FYR Macedonia, Kosovo and Serbia. The Bank’s first loan under the Women in Business programme in the Western Balkans was a €2 million credit line in Bosnia and Herzegovina in late 2014.
Although the importance of women in the economy is generally acknowledged, women-led businesses in the Western Balkans often face obstacles in obtaining credit and developing managerial skills. The Women in Business programme combines support for partner financial institutions and women entrepreneurs to unleash the economic potential of a section of the population that has traditionally been underserved by the financial sector.
Women in Business programmes are also active in Croatia, the Eastern Partnership countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine), Egypt, Kazakhstan and Turkey. During 2015, the EBRD extended its first credit lines through the Women in Business programme to local financial institutions in Croatia and Kazakhstan and provided financing worth some €100 million to partner lenders in Turkey as part of the initiative.
million – financing provided in 2015 to help women entrepreneurs in the Western Balkans
Donors fund the risk mitigation, technical assistance and advisory elements of Women in Business programmes