EBRD and Sweden support women entrepreneurs in Kosovo

By Bojana Vlajcic

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  • €3 million package to Kreditimi Rural i Kosoves in Kosovo
  • New financing to support investments by women-led businesses and MSMEs
  • Donor support from Sweden

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is extending €3 million in funding to Kreditimi Rural i Kosoves (KRK), a microfinance institution in Kosovo. The financing, which Sweden is backing with grants and technical assistance, will support investments by women entrepreneurs and small businesses.

As part of this funding, a €1 million loan for businesses run or owned by women is being extended under the EBRD’s Women in Business programme, which promotes women’s entrepreneurship and their participation in business more broadly by providing them with access to finance and know-how. Since its launch in the Western Balkans in 2014, the programme has provided more than €57 million in credit lines, reaching more than 4,800 women-led micro, small and medium-sized enterprises across the region to provide access to finance, advisory services, training, mentoring and network-building activities.

Some €2 million will be extended to other small businesses to boost entrepreneurship and competitiveness. It will allow enterprises to access funding to invest in innovation in areas such as strategy, products, processes and marketing.

Aleksandra Vukosavljevic, EBRD Director, Financial Institutions, said: “We are pleased to extend our cooperation with KRK in Kosovo. Improving access to finance and know-how will help boost the competitiveness of local MSMEs and create more jobs and business opportunities in the country. With the Women in Business programme in particular helping to bridge the gender gap in Kosovo; the EBRD has allocated €12 million to date here under this programme.”

KRK is the third-largest microfinance institution in Kosovo. Operating since 2000, it has a network of 27 branches across the country and around 250 employees. KRK has a strong shareholder base comprised of the European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE), the Dutch entrepreneurial development bank FMO, Solidarité Internationale pour le Développement et l’Investissement (SIDI) and Crédit Coopératif.

The EBRD has invested €602 million in 86 projects in Kosovo since it began operating there in 2012. The Bank’s strategic priorities in the country are to promote the green economy, support the competitive development of the private sector and foster regional integration.


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