EUR 8.33 million in local currency loans in Armenia for SMEs in rural areas and women entrepreneurs

Vardanush Petrossian opened a health food café in Yerevan with support from EU4Business and the EBRD.

EU4Business is providing EUR 8.33 million of local currency loans in Armenia to help women entrepreneurs and SMEs and micro-enterprises in rural areas.

Two on-lending programmes are being implemented by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) through Araratbank to meet a growing demand for financing from women-led and rural businesses.

Loans and advice for Armenian businesswomen

The lending for Armenian businesswomen comes under the EU4Business/EBRD Women in Business (WiB) programme, which provides lending, advice, technical assistance, training and support to women entrepreneurs and women-led companies throughout the Eastern Partnership countries.

Funded by the EU, Sweden and the EBRD Early Transition Countries Fund, the programme also provides risk mitigation for local financial institutions and business advisory services in the form of first-loss cover.

“This credit line - together with the additional combination of advice, know-how and non-financial support services from our Women in Business team - will help women entrepreneurs to grow their businesses and prosper,” said EBRD President, Sir Suma Chakrabarti.

EU4Business in Armenia

SMEs are responsible for nearly 80% of all jobs in Armenia, but just 27% of GDP.

EU4Business is working to build a conducive business and investment environment to help Armenian SMEs reach their full potential and thus improve the country’s economy.

Programmes improve access to finance and new markets, and target women entrepreneurs and SMEs working in rural areas and green energy, while encouraging social entrepreneurship.