International structures promote female entrepreneurship in Armenia
Promoting inclusion as a core element of successful economies, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is launching the extension of its successful Women in Business program in Armenia to the local lenders Ameriabank and Acba-Credit Agricole Bank.
Within the frames of the program, finance and advisory services will be provided for small and medium-sized women-led enterprises to develop business, as well as technical support for partner financial structures and business consultation for female entrepreneurs.
“Different loan products are regularly developed and offered to women at the most favorable terms by our bank. This project will enable women to implement their projects and ideas. It will also provide an opportunity to create new jobs through supporting economic growth. Women have great business potential, and we will contribute to delivering vital results with this program,” said Ashot Osipyan, Chairman of the Executive Board of Araratbank.
“We believe that when market failures are addressed, obstacles removed and women-led SMEs are given equal opportunities, they can deliver in terms of economic performance and job creation,” said Mark Davis, EBRD Head of the Office in Yerevan.
“The European Union works all over Armenia to promote equal rights for everyone in any sector of activity. The EU considers that Armenian women along with young generation should play fully their role as a driving force of the Armenian economy, and the EU will invest more and more. Armenian women-led SMEs represent a major opportunity in terms of economic growth, and the EU hopes that Armenian authorities will consider this as well and make their business life easier,” said EU Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Piotr Switalski.
EBRD noted that Armenia was one of the first countries among Eastern Partnership states to implement Women in Business program, financed by EBRD, European Union, Sweden and the Early Transition Countries Fund.
The EBRD made an initial contribution of USD 55 million to create credit lines for on-lending to women-led businesses via local financial institutions to the program in the Eastern Partnership countries alone.
The Government of Sweden has allocated SEK 47 million (approx. EUR 5,2 million) to the implementation of the program in the Eastern Partnership countries. A further EUR 4.5 million was provided by the European Union Neighborhood Investment Facility to finance the credit enhancement and part of the capacity building program for partner financial institutions.
EBRD’s Early Transition Countries Fund provided another EUR 0.9 million.