EBRD women business program in Gaziantep
GAZİANTEPThe Finance and Advice for Women in Business Program, funded by the European Union (EU), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Turkey, was introduced to local women-led businesses in the southeastern province of Gaziantep on May 21.
The program aims to strengthen the role of female entrepreneurs in the Turkish economy and help women-led businesses grow by providing them with a comprehensive package of financial and technical support, the EBRD said in a web-published statement.
Under this framework, the EBRD is providing up to 300 million euros in credit lines to banks in Turkey.
The EU, the Turkish Ministry of Labor and Social Security and Turkish Employment Agency are supporting the program with 38 million euros for credit enhancement and advice to small businesses, including mentoring, entrepreneurship trainings and networking opportunities, as well as technical assistance for partner banks, according to the statement.
So far, four Turkish banks have joined the program and received financing from the EBRD, including VakıfBank ($30 million), Finansbank (50 million euros), İşbank ($ 55 million) and Türk Ekonomi Bankası (50 million euros).
Home to 1.8 million people, Gaziantep, a dynamic business hub and gateway to southeastern Turkey, is one of the focus regions for the EBRD’s program. So far, 14 companies from Gaziantep and neighboring cities have benefited from the bank’s advisory services, thanks to 87,000 euros from donors. Following the program’s launch in Gaziantep, the EBRD aims to reach out to more businesswomen and women-led enterprises in the region, said the statement.
The EBRD opened an office in Gaziantep in September last year in response to the growing demand for its investments in the southeast of Turkey. It also runs offices in Istanbul and Ankara.
The EBRD started investing in Turkey in 2009. In just six years, the bank has invested over 5 billion euros in Turkey through more than 140 projects in infrastructure, energy, agribusiness, industry and finance. It has also mobilized over 12 billion euros for these ventures from other sources of financing.