The European Investment Bank (EIB) is lending EUR 22.3m to Garanti Bank Romania to support businesses in Romania. EUR 5m of the loan amount is devoted to female entrepreneurs, matched by another EUR 5m from Garanti Bank. This transaction is backed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the financial pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe, or “Juncker Plan”. It is expected that the overall loan will benefit some 260 SMEs and mid-caps and support 6,100 jobs. First operation with Garanti Bank increases the number of partner financing institutions in Romania to 16.
This innovative loan tranche will give 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% owned by one or more women, or 26% to 50% 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.
“This innovative project backed by the Investment Plan for Europe enables the EIB for the first time in the EU to provide a loan dedicated to supporting investments by female entrepreneurs. Women entrepreneurs are a powerful source of economic development and they can contribute even more to sustainable growth if they have better access to finance,” EIB Vice-President Andrew McDowell commented.
“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. 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,” European Commissioner for Regional policy Corina Crețu said in her turn.
Ufuk Tandogan, CEO Garanti Bank stated: “Entrepreneurship is an important engine that has contributed to the development of the economy in Romania. Garanti Bank is an active supporter of entrepreneurs in general, and of women entrepreneurs in particular. We will continue to focus on being a solid trustworthy partner for our clients and offer the best financing options, supporting their sustainable growth. This new partnership with EIB encompasses continued assistance for women economic empowerment in Romania. We are glad to sign this new agreement and reinforce our long-term commitment to the Romanian business community”.