The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) announced on Friday it would continue its programme for women entrepreneurs in Croatia which would enable SMEs managed by women to access loans and business counselling.
Funded by Luxembourg, the Taiwan-EBRD Cooperation Fund and the EBRD Shareholder Special Fund, the Women in Business programme provides a comprehensive toolkit of support. Training courses in entrepreneurial skills – such as starting your own business and online marketing – are complemented by advisory projects that connect businesses with local management consultants. The programme also includes mentoring, through which women entrepreneurs from Croatia share their experiences and challenges with women around the world, either as mentee or mentor.
The first phase of the programme for women entrepreneurs in Croatia started in March 2015 and to date a total of EUR 15 million has been secured for SMEs managed by women. The loans were realised through partner banks -- Privredna Banka Zagreb and Raiffeisen Bank Austria.
The EBRD recognises that gender equality is an important part of the transition process, said Vedrana Jelusic Kasic, EBRD Director for Croatia. Promoting women’s entrepreneurship is a vital part of our efforts to advance transition, she added.