The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, and Garanti Bank Romania have launched a joint report highlighting the importance and impact of increasing access to finance for the country’s women entrepreneurs.
The report, Taking Women Entrepreneurs to the Bank in Romania, shows the impact of Garanti Bank Romania’s Women SME Banking Programme. The bank has loaned over 145 million euros to women-owned enterprises, as of end- December 2017, with surveyed recipients experiencing an average real sales growth of over five per cent per year, higher than the national average for firms in Romania.
IFC has been working with Garanti Group Romania to help reduce the finance gap for women entrepreneurs by signing seven loan agreements between 2011 – 2019, totaling 157 million euros, including four with a strong gender component. Most recently, IFC signed a 25 million-euro and seven million-euro loan agreement with Garanti Bank Romania and Garanti Leasing Romania in December 2017 and February 2018, respectively, to boost financial inclusion, particularly for women entrepreneurs.
“We have been an active and outspoken supporter of entrepreneurship in general, and of women entrepreneurs in particular. After an ongoing partnership with IFC, currently exceeding seven years, we have amounted significant experience and expertise in terms of gender finance and the importance of women entrepreneurship,” said Ufuk Tandoğan, CEO of Garanti Bank Romania. “This new report highlights how women have a significant contribution in all areas of the economy and how they have proven to thrive provided the right support. We are happy and proud to launch this new report’s findings and underlining our long-term commitment to the Romanian business community.”
“IFC aims to increase women’s economic participation by enhancing their access to finance,” said Wiebke Schloemer, IFC director Europe and Central Asia. “Women-owned smaller businesses are already becoming a force to be reckoned in Romania and they can further realize their economic potential through better access to finance, as this study highlights.”