The FINANCIAL — The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing a €3 million loan to MI-BOSPO, one of the leading microfinance institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina and an important player in the development of female entrepreneurship.
Promoting inclusion and strengthening local businesses are priorities for the EBRD. By providing long-term funding to underserved segments of the market, the EBRD is encouraging social and economic equality in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The financing will help MI-BOSPO to expand its support to micro and small enterprises, particularly in the agricultural sector. The loan will also promote gender equality as MI-BOSPO is a leading lender to women entrepreneurs in Bosnia and Herzegovina and will use the financing to strengthen this position, according to EBRD.
The micro finance sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina is an important source of funding for more than 200,000 clients which are not served by local banks.
Ian Brown, EBRD Head of Bosnia and Herzegovina, said: “Microfinance organisations are important sources of finance for thousands of small businesses in Bosnia and Herzegovina and provide support to the real economy. The EBRD’s financing will boost MI-BOSPO’s capacity to support women entrepreneurs and farmers by providing long-term funding which remains difficult to obtain but which is crucial for the development of the economy.”
Henry Russell, EBRD Director for Financial Institutions in the Western Balkans, Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine, added: “We are delighted to sign our fourth joint project with MI-BOSPO, an important microfinance institution in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The loan also underscores the EBRD’s continued support to the real economy though the provision of much-needed funds.”
Nejira Nalic, Director of MI-BOSPO, said: “This partnership with the EBRD will help us strengthen our position in the microfinance sector. The financing will allow us to expand our geographic reach and find new businesses which we will be able to support with new loans.”
Since the beginning of its operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the EBRD has invested more than €1.8 billion in over 130 projects in the country. Promoting the growth of small businesses is one of the EBRD’s key priorities under its current business strategy that aims to re-energise growth in the countries where it invests.