Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia,Moldova, Ukraine
Local Project Partners
Selected financial institutions, women associations
German Project Partners
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)
07/2015 - 12/2017
According to the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GFPI), women-led small and medium-sized enterprises (women-led SMEs) have great difficulty in obtaining bank loans for maintaining and expanding their business operations. This financing gap is not only a major obstacle for women wishing to start up a business, but most especially for women seeking to grow their small-scale enterprises into medium-sized companies.
To address this situation, the project targets both the demand side, i.e. the female entrepreneurs, and the supply side, i.e. the banks as providers of financial services. On the one hand, it assists financial institutions to develop lending mechanisms that will give the target group stable access to credit facilities, thus promoting entrepreneurship in the countries concerned. At the same time, however, the project networks women-led SMEs in order to give them access to know-how in the field of business management and development. This not only secures work and income for the women entrepreneurs, but also for the people they employ.
At first, the project conducted a baseline assessment to determine which financial institutions had the aptitude for providing services to small and medium-sized women-led enterprises. This was followed by the design and development of suitable organisation structures, business models and strategies. Furthermore, the project devised processes to support financial institutions with the launch, ongoing implementation and expansion of efficient lending services to this target group. To date, the project has conducted baseline assessments in Georgia, Belarus and Armenia and has started to design and roll out advisory measures in Georgia and Belarus.