- EBRD strengthens cooperation with partner bank Addiko Bank Banja Luka in Bosnia and Herzegovina
- €5 million loan extended for on-lending to SMEs
- EU-financed SME Academy to help local businesses enrich their know-how
The EBRD and Addiko Bank Banja Luka in Bosnia and Herzegovina are strengthening their partnership by signing a €5 million loan for on-lending to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This is the EBRD’s third loan to Addiko Bank Banja Luka in support of its SME lending operations in the country.
As well as improved access to finance, local SMEs will benefit from training opportunities at the Addiko SME Academy, set up with EBRD support and financed by the European Union. Business owners and employees will be able to learn about or refresh their knowledge of areas such as succession management, financial reporting, digital transformation, and environmental, social and corporate governance considerations. Furthermore, the Addiko SME Academy will strongly encourage female entrepreneurs and managers to participate.
Manuela Naessl, EBRD Head of Bosnia and Herzegovina, said: “The continuation of successful cooperation with Addiko Bank Banja Luka is very important for the strategic development of the SME sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We are especially pleased that SMEs will benefit not only from improved access to finance but also a new learning platform that can help them acquire new management skills for a more competitive global market.”
Srđan Kondić, President of the Management Board of Addiko Bank Banja Luka, commented: “The cooperation between the EBRD and Addiko Bank Banja Luka is very important for the local market. SMEs are the main source of employment in the private sector and contribute greatly to our economy. However, sources of medium-term financing for SMEs are somewhat limited, which at the same time prevents the private sector from fulfilling its growth potential. As a result, we will focus on expanding our portfolio for SMEs, especially when it comes to underserved enterprises in regions outside of Banja Luka.”
To date, the EBRD has invested more than €3 billion through 216 projects in Bosnia and Herzegovina.