IFC, a member of the World Bank, has granted a EUR 35 million loan to Garanti Bank, owned by Turkish Turkiye Garanti Bankasi, that will be used to small and medium businesses in Romania, focusing primarily on firms that are owned or managed by women.
According to data by the trade registry, there were close to 415,000 women entrepreneurs in April that accounted for over 36 percent of shareholders and associates in local firms. The bank said that EUR 20 million of the total loan will target this segment.
“Garanti Bank is a long-time supporter of entrepreneurs, with a focus on women-led SMEs for the past four years. We want to support SMEs become more competitive, develop and overcome the obstacles that they face in the current challenging economic environment,” said in a statement Ufuk Tandogan, the lender’s CEO.
This is the second IFC-backed loan used by the bank to finance SMEs in ROmania. In 2012, Garanti Bank got EUR 22.5 million that was used to finance more than 160 SMEs. The firms were active in a wide array of sectors including commerce and the constructions. They used the loans for investments and working capital.
“Strengthening women’s participation in the Romanian private sector both empowers them and harnesses untapped potential for advancing development”, said K. Aftab Ahmed, IFC director for financial institutions and private equity group.
Garanti Bank said that it registered in the first quarter a 21.8 percent increase in loans and 96.7 percent gain in deposits for the SME segment. The lender has 25,000 clients in this category.