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EBRD backs Turkish women entrepreneurs

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said Wednesday it had provided 300 million euros ($352.5 million) to local banks since 2014, to assist Turkish women entrepreneurs.

The statement came during an event held in capital Ankara to discuss the positive impacts of EBRD's Finance and Advice for Women in Business program

The Turkish Employment Agency, the EU Delegation to Turkey and the Ministry of Labour and Social Security along with public and business officials participated in the conference.

The bank said that it partnered with five Turkish lenders -- Garantibank, QNB Finansbank, TEB, Isbank and Vakifbank -- to enable women-led businesses to gain affordable financing from local banks.

"The EU and the Turkish government have joined the effort, with 38 million euros ($44.68 million) in grant funding," the EBRD said in a statement.

The program, which is also supported by the EU and the Turkish government, has helped 15,000 women entrepreneurs to grow their business, the bank said in a statement.

It added that 14,400 women-led firms had received loans from local banks through the program.

In addition, 340 companies received advisory services and coaching from local and international experts.

Also, nearly 1,000 businesswomen received training in entrepreneurial skills.

The banks added that 800 new jobs were created with the help of advisory services provided by the EU and Turkey.

"As we see continuous demand from women-led businesses, we will spare no effort to ensure that the program continues,” said Arvid Tuerkner, Turkey’s EBRD managing director.

Christian Berger, the head of the EU delegation to Turkey, stressed that economic independence of women was vital for a prosperous society.

"The economy absolutely needs more women in the labor market," Berger said.

Credits:Tuba Sahin
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