Central Anatolian women-led SMEs encouraged to apply for support
The Finance and Advice for Women in Business Programme, funded by the European Union (EU), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Republic of Turkey, was introduced to local women-led businesses in Kayseri today.
Speaking at the event, EBRD Director for Turkey Jean-Patrick Marquet, said: “I am inspired by the talent of Turkish business women. Turkey needs to unlock women’s potential in order to achieve sustained growth. At the EBRD we want more women to have not only the confidence to set up their own businesses but also access to finance so that they can succeed and grow their ventures. The Finance and Advice for Women in Business Programme which we have launched together with the EU and Turkey aims to do exactly this across the whole country, and particularly here at the heart of Anatolia.”
The EBRD is providing up to €300 million in credit lines to local banks for on-lending to women-led businesses and the EU, the Turkish Ministry of Labour and Social Security and Turkish Employment Agency are supporting the programme with €38 million for credit enhancement, advice to companies, including mentoring, entrepreneurship trainings, and networking opportunities, as well as technical assistance for partner banks.
To date four Turkish banks have joined the programme and received financing from the EBRD: VakıfBank (US$ 30 million), Finansbank (€50 million), İşbank (US$ 55 million), and Türk Ekonomi Bankası (€50 million).
Home to 1.2 million people, Kayseri is an important economic hub of Turkey. Alongside Gaziantep, Konya and other cities in the central area of the country, it was named among the “Anatolian tigers”, due to its impressive growth rate.
Supporting SMEs in Anatolia and other regions of Turkey where they still find access to finance difficult is one of the ways the EBRD is helping Turkey to achieve sustainable growth.
The Bank started investing in Turkey in 2009. In just six years the Bank has invested over €5 billion in Turkey through more than 140 projects in infrastructure, energy, agribusiness, industry and finance. It has also mobilised over €12 billion for these ventures from other sources of financing. In 2014 Turkey became the leading recipient country of the EBRD, with new investments worth €1.4 billion.