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EBRD teams up with TEB to support women-led SMEs in Turkey

By Olga Rosca

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EBRD teams up with TEB to support women-led SMEs in Turkey

TEB adds €15 million from its own funds to EBRD’s €50 million credit line
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is stepping up its support for women entrepreneurs in Turkey, with €50 million of financing to Türk Ekonomi Bankasi A.S. (TEB).
The financing will be on-lent to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) led by women from across the country. It is made available under the Finance and Advice for Women in Business programme, which is jointly funded by the European Union, the EBRD and the Turkish government.
In addition to the EBRD finance, TEB will provide €15 million from its own resources, demonstrating its commitment to more lending for women-led businesses, in particular outside large metropolitan areas.
Sylvia Gansser-Potts, EBRD Financial Institutions Director for Turkey and the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean, said: “The rate of participation in the economy by women remains well below 50 per cent and women-led companies face additional constraints in accessing the financing and know-how they need to grow their businesses. We are pleased that TEB has joined our efforts in expanding finance for these firms.”
The Finance and Advice for Women in Business programme includes a comprehensive package of €300 million in dedicated credit lines to participating banks such as TEB. The credit lines facilitate access to finance for women-led SMEs and the package includes a risk-sharing mechanism and advice to help banks better address the financial needs and growth plans of their clients. The programme also involves direct advice to SMEs to improve their competitiveness, and a range of training, networking and mentoring opportunities.  
TEB, which focuses on lending to SMEs and providing them with non-financing advisory services, has developed a number of products and services for this market. These address the limited access to information, lack of technological know-how and limited capacity for research and development that hold back the growth of SMEs.
Turgut Boz, Assistant General Manager of the SME Banking Group and Deputy General Manager at TEB, said: “Under this agreement with the EBRD, we will provide necessary financial support for women-led SMEs and women entrepreneurs. We believe that our collaboration will contribute to strengthening this sector and the wider private sector in Turkey.”
Boosting Turkey’s SMEs by expanding finance and know-how to help them grow is among the EBRD priorities in the country. The Bank started investing in Turkey in 2009. It currently operates from offices in Istanbul, Ankara and Gaziantep. In 2014 Turkey became the leading recipient country of the EBRD, with new investments worth €1.4 billion.
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.
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