Bank Lviv first partner of EBRD Women in Business programme in Ukraine

By Anton Usov

Bank Lviv providing services to SMEs in western Ukraine

  • Bank Lviv becomes first bank in Ukraine to join Women in Business programme
  • EBRD providing €5.3 million financial package, including €1 million to support trade
  • Women in Business programme approaching €500 million benchmark

Women entrepreneurs in western Ukraine will benefit from Bank Lviv becoming the first bank in the country to join the EBRD Women in Business (WiB) initiative. The EBRD is providing a financial package of up to €5.3 million to Bank Lviv for on-lending to women-led businesses and trade support.

The package will consist of a 4-year loan of up to €4.3 million extended in local currency for on-lending to women-led micro, small and medium-sized companies. It will promote women’s entrepreneurship and participation in business by assisting with access to finance, know-how and technical advice.

Bank Lviv is the first financial institution in Ukraine to join the WiB programme, which is funded by the EBRD, the EU through the EU4 Business Initiative, Sweden, the EBRD Early Transition Countries Fund and the EBRD Small Business Impact Fund.

The programme also builds on advisory services projects with training, mentoring and longer-term coaching to provide women entrepreneurs with the knowledge and confidence to take the next step. The WiB programme will also benefit from technical support provided to assist financial institutions in better serving women-led businesses.

The second component of the EBRD package will be a €1 million limit to Bank Lviv under the EBRD Trade Facilitation Programme (TFP) to stimulate international and regional trade.

The WiB programme, launched in 2014, is currently operating in 18 countries and has helped over 50,000 women entrepreneurs’ access finance and advice for their businesses. The programme is approaching the €500 million benchmark in loans provided to women-led businesses.

The EBRD’s TFP promotes international trade to, from, and within the EBRD countries of operations. Through the Programme, the Bank provides guarantees to international confirming banks, taking the political and commercial payment risk of international trade transactions undertaken by banks in the countries of operations. In 2018 alone the EBRD TFP Programme supported 1,740 export-import transactions with a total turnover of almost €1.9 billion.

The EBRD is the largest international financial investor in Ukraine. Since the start of its operations in the country in 1993, the Bank has made a cumulative commitment of almost €13.1 billion across some 418 projects in Ukraine.