“Finance and Advice for Women in Business” Programme launched with six Turkish banks

By Olga Rosca
@olgarosca


Finansbank, Garantibank, Isbank, Sekerbank, Turk Ekonomi Bankasi (TEB) and Vakifbank have expressed interest in joining a new “Finance and Advice to Women in Business" Programme, which has been designed to increase and strengthen the role of female entrepreneurs in the Turkish economy.

The programme was launched today by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the Delegation of the European Union to Turkey, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security of the Republic of Turkey and the Turkish Employment Agency.

It is a comprehensive package of financial and technical support for women entrepreneurs in Turkey to facilitate access to finance and improve competitiveness. The framework includes dedicated credit lines to commercial banks for on-lending to companies run by women. It also includes a risk-sharing mechanism and advice to help these banks better address the financial needs and growth plans of their clients.

The EBRD is providing up to €300 million in credit lines to interested Turkish banks. The European Union, the Turkish Ministry of Labour and Social Security and the Turkish Employment Agency are supporting the programme with €38 million for credit enhancement, advice to small firms and technical assistance to partner banks.

Michael Davey, EBRD Country Director for Turkey, said: “We are glad to launch this programme today. Women play an important role in the Turkish economy and this initiative is a recognition of their importance and an encouragement to strengthen their role. Securing the strong support of local banks as partners in this programme is a massive boost and we will do everything we can to make it a success.”

At the launch event Béla Szombati, Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to Turkey, said: "I am pleased that our partners are demonstrating their continued commitment to empowering women. The EU sees this as a primary duty: to eliminate all obstacles to the advancement of women, to combat stereotypes and all forms of discrimination and violence against women, as well as to make swift progress towards full gender equality, be it in the labour market, educational, political or social life."

Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Security, Halil Etyemez, commented: “We aim to create 21,000 new employment opportunities for women through the advantageous credit lines and advisory services provided by this programme, launched by the Delegation of the European Union to Turkey, the EBRD and the Turkish Employment Agency, and implemented with the cooperation of local commercial banks. In addition to the loans and advisory services offered to women-led enterprises within this programme, we put a special emphasis on the technical assistance that will be provided to the local banks and believe that these services will be an important step in creating sustainable loan mechanisms for women entrepreneurs in the banking sector.”

General Director of Turkish Employment Agency, Nusret Yazici, said: “Apart from the regular responsibilities of our institution, we battle to remove barriers against the employment of women, via projects supported by various international funds and resources. We believe this project is important for strengthening the entrepreneurship of women. With the gains offered by this project and with additional funds, we will continue supporting actions to increase the employment and entrepreneurship of women.”

Turkey will be the first country in which the EBRD will implement the Finance and Advice for Women in Business Programme. Similar initiatives will be launched in 15 of the countries where the Bank invests.

Contact in Ankara: Basak Bakir

Tel: +90 312 205 5965

Email: bakirb@ebrd.com

Contact in London: Olga Rosca

Tel: +44 20 7338 8163

Email: roscao@ebrd.com