First EIB loan tranche dedicated to female entrepreneurs in the EU
It is expected that the overall loan will benefit some260 SMEs and mid-caps and support 6,100 jobs
First operation with Garanti Bank increases the number of partner financing institutions in Romania to 16
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is lending EUR 22.3m to Garanti Bank Romania to support businesses in Romania. EUR 5m of the loan amount is devoted to female entrepreneurs, matched by another EUR 5m from Garanti Bank. This transaction is backed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the financial pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe, or "Juncker Plan".
This innovative loan tranche will give female entrepreneurs representing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and mid-caps access to more favourable financing. To be able to access these loans, companies have to be more than 50% owned by one or more women, or 26% to 50% of the shares have to be owned by one or more women, with a woman acting as the company’s chief executive, operating or financial officer.
Fostering gender equality and diversity is part of the EIB’s goal of ensuring that the projects receiving its financing benefit all members of the community. This operation, the first EIB intermediated loan in the EU specifically backing female entrepreneurs, will support women’s participation as key economic actors and is in line with the EIB’s Strategy on Gender Equality and Women’s Economic Empowerment.
EIB Vice-President Andrew McDowell commented: “This innovative project backed by the Investment Plan for Europe enables the EIB for the first time in the EU to provide a loan dedicated to supporting investments by female entrepreneurs. Womenentrepreneurs are a powerful source of economic development and they can contribute even more to sustainable growth if they have better access to finance”.
European Commissioner for Regional policy Corina Crețu said: "I am very glad that the Juncker Plan is lending a helping hand to women entrepreneurs in Romania, assisting them express their talents and turn their ideas into concrete projects. Empowering women and giving them the financial means to succeed will directly benefit Romania's economy. I welcome this new agreement and I hope to see many more like this in the future."
Ufuk Tandogan, CEO Garanti Bank stated: “Entrepreneurship is an important engine that has contributed to the development of the economy in Romania. Garanti Bank is an active supporter of entrepreneurs in general, and of women entrepreneurs in particular. We will continue to focus on being a solid trustworthy partner for our clients and offer the best financing options, supporting their sustainable growth. This new partnership with EIB encompasses continued assistance for women economic empowerment in Romania. We are glad to sign this new agreement and reinforce our long-term commitment to the Romanian business community".
What is the environment for female entrepreneurship like in the European Union, and what are the challenges and opportunities women find in today’s economy? Hosted by the European Investment Bank (EIB), the conference ‘Access to Finance for Female Entrepreneurs: creating opportunity’ set out to answer those and other questions on the eve of Women’s Day.
Women are at the forefront of our fight against the coronavirus pandemic, representing 70% of the health and social sector workforce globally. As our economies are facing an unprecedented recession, a massive and coordinated response is required to avoid leaving the economy badly scarred for longer. Women could play a decisive role in the recovery as well. Considering gender equality and empowering women entrepreneurship could help to accelerate and fortify our recovery, especially given that women-led businesses tend to be more productive, faster-growing and innovative. Empowering women’s participation in the labour market and encouraging entrepreneurship could thus add billions to the economy. According to the European Commission, improvements to gender equality could create 10.5 million jobs by 2050 and boost the EU economy by between €1.95 and €3.15 trillion.
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