Garanti BBVA Leasing, part of Garanti BBVA Group Romania, one of the most dynamic financial groups on the local market, has signed a loan agreement of EUR 10 million with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), member of World Bank Group, aiming to support SMEs affected by the pandemic.
This new agreement signed by Garanti BBVA Leasing will provide financial leases to small and medium-sized enterprises in Romania, including women-owned businesses, impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and will help them to continue operations, protect jobs, and accelerate recovery.
”The effects of the pandemic are being felt throughout the economy, and companies, SMEs in particular, are in great need of our support. Garanti BBVA Leasing has a long-standing partnership with IFC and became in 2017 the first leasing company in Romania that financed women owned or managed SMEs. Now, we intend to continue our strategy in 2021 toward this direction and we are also very proud to have an aligned mission of supporting the post-pandemic return to normalcy”, stated Okan Yurtsever, General Manager, Garanti BBVA Leasing.
The financing package is part of IFC’s USD 8 billion global COVID-19 fast-track financing facility, which aims to support private companies and their employees hurt by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy.
“Given the pandemic, supporting SMEs is pivotal for Romania’s economic recovery. With this funding, IFC takes another step toward supporting small businesses, including women entrepreneurs, so that they can grow their businesses and generate new employment,” said Vittorio Di Bello, IFC’s Regional Head of Industry for Financial Institutions in Europe and Central Asia. “The goal is to help SMEs overcome the disruptions caused by COVID-19, enabling them to explore new business opportunities as the country recovers from an unprecedented crisis.”
The project is supported by the Women Entrepreneurs Opportunity Facility (WEOF) in the form of a performance-based incentive. WEOF is an initiative launched by IFC—in partnership with the Goldman Sachs Foundation—to help expand access to capital for women entrepreneurs in developing countries and demonstrate the commercial viability of investing in women.
“We need to support female entrepreneurs through access to capital in order to facilitate their growth, particularly given the impact of COVID-19,” said Charlotte Keenan, Global Director of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women. “We are pleased to continue to support the Garanti BBVA Leasing as it expands lending to women-owned businesses in Romania under this challenging time.”
In Romania, 34 percent of formal micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) are women-owned, however they continue to represent an underserved segment of the SMEs in the country, according to the latest MSME Finance Gap database. With this investment from IFC, Garanti Leasing will be able to expand its lending program and support SMEs in Romania, with at least 40 percent of the funding earmarked for businesses owned or managed by women.
“Given the pandemic, supporting SMEs is pivotal for Romania’s economic recovery. With this funding, IFC takes another step toward supporting small businesses, including women entrepreneurs, so that they can grow their businesses and generate new employment,” said Ary Naïm, IFC’s Regional Manager for Central and Southeast Europe. “The goal is to help SMEs overcome the disruptions caused by COVID-19, enabling them to explore new business opportunities as the country recovers from an unprecedented crisis.”
This investment builds on IFC’s long-standing relationship with Garanti BBVA Leasing. Since 2014, IFC has provided several investment products to the company to support the SME sector, including energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.