Raiffeisen Bank BiH and EBRD to support women in business

By Axel  Reiserer

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€2 million loan for on-lending to female-led enterprises

  • EBRD loan of up to €2 million to Raiffeisen Bank BiH
  • Support for women-led businesses
  • Partners will hold joint webinar to introduce programme and offer advice

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Raiffeisen Bank BiH are joining forces to support women-led enterprises in Bosnia and Herzegovina with a credit line of up to €2 million.

The funds will be on-lent to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises run by female entrepreneurs facilitating access to finance which often remains challenging. This is particularly important in light of the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic which has affected many small businesses in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The funds will be combined with an offer for training, coaching and knowledge-sharing for businesses.

Manuela Naessl, EBRD Head of Bosnia and Herzegovina, said: “The EBRD’s Women in Business programme aims to unleash the potential of women entrepreneurs by providing access to finance and know-how to grow their businesses. Higher participation of women in the economy and closing the gender gaps is expected to increase the country’s overall prosperity and make the society more inclusive, more fair and more equitable.”

Karlheinz Dobnigg, CEO of Raiffeisen Bank BiH, added: “We are pleased that with this agreement we are strengthening our long-standing and successful partnership with the EBRD, which we are implementing through several financing programmes. This new credit line will enable us to empower and support companies owned or managed by women, reflecting our sustainability strategy for all our clients.”

Raiffeisen Bank BiH and the EBRD will organise a webinar to inform interested parties about the financing programme and to offer relevant advice to customers.

The loan is provided under the Western Balkans window of the EBRD’s Women in Business programme, which combines advisory services with credit lines through local partner banks. The programme also includes training, coaching and knowledge-sharing.

To date, more than €500 million has been provided under the programme in 18 countries where the EBRD invests, ranging from Morocco and Egypt to the Western Balkans, eastern Europe, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan, Turkey and the Caucasus.

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the EBRD is a leading investor with more than €2.6 billion invested in 183 projects in the country to date. The Bank focuses on the expansion of the local private sector, promotion of regional and international integration and the sustainable use of resources.

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