EBRD introduces Women in Business programme in Montenegro

By Cecilia Calatrava

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  • EBRD Women in Business programme to unleash potential of women entrepreneurs in Montenegro for the benefit of the country’s economy
  • Programme supported by Sweden and Luxembourg funds for advisory services and technical assistance
  • Alter Modus becomes first local partner to join programme.

Unleashing the potential of local women entrepreneurs for the benefit of the country’s economy the EBRD is introducing its internationally successful Women in Business programme (WiB) in Montenegro. The governments of Sweden and Luxembourg are supporting the programme by providing support advisory service and technical assistance.

Alter Modus, the largest microfinance institution in Montenegro, has become the first local partner to join the programme. In an initial phase, the EBRD will provide a total of €1 million to Alter Modus to support women-led micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). A focus will be supporting underserved SMEs, especially those operating outside the capital city of Podgorica.

The Women in Business Programme supports women entrepreneurs to access finance and know-how to grow their businesses. Since its global launch in 2014, the programme has already reached over 5,000 women entrepreneurs in the Western Balkans through both financing and advisory services. In the Western Balkans the programme is supported by donor funding from the governments of Italy, Luxembourg and Sweden.

“Support to Women in Business in the form of finance and advice can have a major impact on the economy of Montenegro. We are very pleased to launch the programme today and to expand this product in the country”, said Jaap Sprey, EBRD Head of Montenegro.

In addition to financing, women entrepreneurs will also receive business advice to make their businesses more competitive, as well as training, mentoring and network-building services. The training and mentoring allows women entrepreneurs to share experiences and learn from each other. The programme will also provide access to the EBRD’s online self-diagnostic Business Lens.

The EBRD’s Women in Business Programme has so far provided more than €500 million in credit lines to more than 60,000 women-led MSMEs in 18 countries.

Since it began investing in Montenegro in 2006, the EBRD has financed 60 projects worth €571 million in the country and provided over 100 Montenegrin women-led MSMEs with business advice and trainings.


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