EBRD and Akbank join forces to support women entrepreneurs in Turkey

By Dilara Sarı

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  • EBRD and Akbank continue partnership to narrow funding gap for women-led businesses
  • Funds are part of Women in Business programme backed by EU and Turkey
  • EBRD focused on promoting inclusive growth and economic resilience in Turkey

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing a US$50 million syndicated loan to Akbank, a key lender in Turkey, to improve the ability of the country’s banking sector to finance women-led businesses.

The loan is a follow up to the EBRD’s TurWiB II initiative with Akbank, and aims to build on the success of the Women in Business credit line provided to the bank back in 2021. The previous credit line delivered US$ 50 million to women-led small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and encouraged the bank to take further initiative in that segment.  The EBRD also mobilised US$ 25 million from Dutch-based ILX, an SDG-focused emerging market credit fund and a new B-lender to the Turkish market on behalf of leading Dutch pension funds.

The EBRD’s expanded flagship Women in Business programme in Turkey provides a total of €600 million for Turkish banks to on-lend to women-led SMEs to strengthen their role in the Turkish economy and to promote inclusive sustainable growth. The EU and Turkey’s Credit Guarantee Fund, as well as the Ministry of Treasury and Finance support the programme.

The EBRD is a leading institutional investor in Turkey and to date has invested more than €16,5 billion in the country through 378 projects, with the overwhelming majority of those investments in the private sector. The Bank’s €7 billion portfolio in Turkey is the largest of the 38 economies in which the EBRD invests.

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