The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has started the first session of a four-day workshop for women entrepreneurs who want to develop their entrepreneurial skills and use the leadership techniques to make their businesses a long-term success.
On April 14 2016 sixteen women entrepreneurs representing various sectors of the economy attended the workshop.
"EBRD recognizes gender equality as in important component of the transition process. A core focus of EBRD in countries of operations is to address market trends and give women led enterprises equal opportunities, so that they can deliver in terms of economic performance and growth, job creation, and civil society development." says Jeff Ferry, Associate Director, EBRD Advice for Small Businesses, South Caucasus and Russian Federation.
The workshop is a part of the EBRD's Women in Business programme, funded by European Union, Sweden and the Early Transition Countries Fund. Over Euros 50 million will be made available from the EBRD for credit lines channelled through partner financial institutions for on-lending to women-led SMEs. This is combined with Euros 9 million in donor funding, enabling risk mitigation funds and technical assistance to partner banks, as well as business advice, training and mentoring for women entrepreneurs.
Since starting work in Azerbaijan in 1993, the EBRD has helped over 700 enterprises access consulting know-how to help them develop and grow. The European Union has provided Euros 3.7 million to support this work in Azerbaijan since 2003 and Swedish International Development Agency contributes 47 million Swedish Kronor to the development of women entrepreneurship in Eastern Partnership Countries.