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The EBRDs Women in Business support changes lives

The EBRD's Women in Business support changes lives

 July 16, 2019

Working with the European Bank for Construction and Development (EBRD) can be a very rewarding experience as employees can support women's success and advancement. The pioneering Women in Business programme at EBRD helps advance women business owners. Financing under the programme has now topped the €500 million mark.  

The programme has provided a total of €506 million in credit lines to more than 60,000 women-led small and medium-sized companies across 18 countries.

Combining financing with mentoring, networking, training and advice

Women in Business provides a special combination of financing together with technical assistance and access to know-how. This includes mentoring and networking opportunities as well as training and business advice in operational efficiency, strategy, financial management and much more. EBRD also offers the online self-diagnostic tool Business Lens, helping women entrepreneurs identify the strengths and opportunities within their businesses.

The programme is complemented by active policy efforts, working with governments and stakeholders towards a more enabling business environment for women entrepreneurs.

Working together through contributions to help women's businesses soar

Key aspects of the Women in Business programme are financed by donor contributions from the European Union, Italy, the Government of Kazakhstan, Luxembourg, Sweden,the Republic of Turkey, the MENA Transition Fund, the TaiwanBusiness-EBRD Technical Cooperation Fund, and the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi). Multi-donor funds are also hosted by the EBRD such as the Early Transition Countries Fund (Canada, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taipei China and the United Kingdom), the Small Business Impact Fund (Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Sweden, Switzerland, Taipei China and the USA) and the SEMED Multi-Donor Account (Australia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Taipei China and the United Kingdom).

Promoting women's inclusion in business is vital at EBRD

Francis Malige, EBRD Managing Director, Financial Institutions, says: “Promoting women’s inclusion in business is vital in order to realise the full economic potential of any country. It is unique in its combination of finance and advisory, but what really makes it stand out is the impact it is making in empowering women and unleashing their potential.”

Ines Rocha, EBRD Director, SME Financial Products, adds: “In the EBRD regions, women entrepreneurs often continue to face legal and cultural barriers when they wish to go into business. Our comprehensive Women in Business programme has been helping address these issues on an impressive range from fashion designers to furniture producers and from retailers to construction companies. We are proud and pleased to contribute to the creation of high-performing and inclusive business environments in the economies where we work.”

By strengthening gender equality and empowering women towards the creation of an inclusive private sector, EBRD's Women in Business programme also supports the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

Work for a company committed to supporting women in business

Join talented women at the EBRD who are leading and working on exciting projects across many countries - projects that truly make a difference to the lives of women in business. 

Search and apply the EBRD's latest job vacancies and see where your skills could take you.


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Disclosure: Where Women Work researches and publishes insightful evidence about how its paid member organizations support women's equality.

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