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EBRD partners with Banca Intesa to support women-led SMEs in Serbia

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing €5 million to Banca Intesa to support women entrepreneurs in Serbia.

The funds will be on-lent to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) managed by women from across the country under the newly launched Women in Business Programme focusing on the Western Balkans.

“Female entrepreneurship is one of the most under-utilised resources of economic growth, not only in Serbia, but in entire Europe as well, which is why it is the task of all stakeholders to support its development. As the leading creditor of the domestic economy Banca Intesa is actively engaged in women’s economic empowerment as evidenced by the fact that we were among the first banks in the Serbian market to devise a tailored credit for women entrepreneurs. The agreement with our long-time partner EBRD is an additional confirmation of our commitment to helping improve conditions for the development of female business and entrepreneurship in general, which is the key to raising employment and long-term economic growth“, said Draginja Djuric, president of Banca Intesa Executive Board.

Banca Intesa Beograd, Serbia’s largest bank, is the first lender in Serbia to join the programme dedicated to Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, FYR Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia.

The EBRD loan is associated with a first loss risk cover which is funded by the EBRD Shareholder Fund. The Technical Assistance to the Partner Financial Institutions as well as advisory services to women-led SMEs are jointly funded by the governments of Sweden and Luxembourg.