IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and Garanti Bank Romania launched a joint report at the end of last week, highlighting the importance and impact of increasing access to finance for the country’s women entrepreneurs.
“Taking Women Entrepreneurs to the Bank in Romania”, shows the impact of Garanti Bank Romania’s Women SME Banking Program. The bank has loaned over EUR 145 million to women-owned enterprises, as of end- December 2017, with surveyed recipients experiencing an average real sales growth of over 5 percent 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 EUR 157 million, including four with a strong gender component. Most recently, IFC signed a EUR 25 million and EUR 7 million 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 7 years, we have amounted significant experience and expertise in terms of gender finance and the importance of women entrepreneurship,” said Ufuk Tandoğan, CEO 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.”
Around two thirds of Garanti Bank clients reported that the financial services they received from Garanti Bank have contributed to an increase in their sales, net profit, and working capital. Eighty four percent of Garanti Bank’s surveyed female clients are very likely to recommend the products they have received from Garanti Bank, more so than clients of other banks.
“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.”