EBRD and EU support small businesses in Bosnia and Herzegovina

By Axel  Reiserer

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  • EBRD extends €1 million loan to Sparkasse Leasing in Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Sub-loans to support local small businesses
  • Supporting local businesses to achieve EU standards

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Bosnia and Herzegovina are set to benefit from new financing provided by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), thanks to a €1 million loan to Sparkasse Leasing BiH.

Sub-loans will be available for investments in vehicles and equipment that meet EU standards in areas such as environmental protection and workers’ safety as well as product quality and safety. Small businesses will be able to use funds to lease trucks, semi-trailers, cold-storage units, construction machines and hybrid vehicles.

At least half of the sub-loans will be dedicated to supporting the transition to a green economy.

The loan is part of the European Union (EU)-supported SME Competitiveness Support Programme for the Western Balkans to assist private, small firms in complying with EU standards. Combining financing with advisory services, the programme equips SMEs with the tools they need to export their products to EU countries, but also enables them to offer better quality services and products, making them more competitive in local markets, too.

Sparkasse Leasing BiH is a subsidiary of Sparkasse Bank dd BiH, a long-standing EBRD client. Established in 2008, it now holds the second position in the country’s leasing market.

Manuela Naessl, EBRD Head of Bosnia and Herzegovina, said: “This loan demonstrates the EBRD’s strong commitment to supporting local small businesses, which are crucial economic players in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Many of them have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic and it is crucial that they receive what they need to be able to drive the country’s recovery.”

Elma Hoso, CEO of Sparkasse Leasing, said: “We are delighted to provide local SMEs with better access to finance, implementing high environmental and social standards in these challenging times. This is a very competitive credit line with a one-time incentive that can be realised. With this credit line, Sparkasse Leasing confirms its long-term commitment to finding the best way to maintain and improve partnerships with its customers and to ensure a positive impact on environmental and social values in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank our partner the EBRD for its great support and we believe that our cooperation in this and similar projects will be long-term and very successful.”

Since the EBRD began its operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1996, it has invested more than €2.7 billion in 187 projects in the country. The Bank focuses on the expansion of the local private sector, the promotion of regional and international integration and the sustainable use of resources.

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