The European Investment Bank (EIB) is lending 22.3 million euros to Garanti Bank Romania to support businesses in the country. Of the loan, five million euros will be devoted to female entrepreneurs, matched by another five million euros from Garanti Bank. The loan is backed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the financial pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe, or Juncker Plan.
The money will offer 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 per cent owned by one or more women, or 26 per cent to 50 per cent 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.
“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,” said European Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Crețu. “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.”