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Intesa Sanpaolo Bank Albania and the European Bank for Reconstruction & Development signed a new agreement in the frame of the second Western Balkans Women in Business Program


Intesa Sanpaolo Bank Albania and the European Bank for econstruction & Development signed a new agreement in the frame of the second Western Balkans Women in Business Program supporting women owned & led businesses in Albania 

€5 million to improve access to finance, creating specific loans with lower interests and packages of products & services, providing enhanced education & personal development trainings & counselling from the EBRD & Bank’s experts.

Intesa Sanpaolo Bank Albania was the first bank joining the Western Balkans Women in Business Program back in 2015, supporting women-owned & women-led business from micro, small and medium categories in Albania, with dedicated loans and packages, including a bundle of daily products & services. The Bank financed a total sum of €2 million to 147 successful women entrepreneurs within the first 2 years of the program.  
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) fostering this successful collaboration has decided to extend the program in a second phase with a bigger investment sum of €5 million aiming to wider spread these opportunities geographically & category wise. These Credit lines are extended to partner banks for on-lending. Advisory services are offered alongside mentoring and longer-term coaching to provide women entrepreneurs with the knowledge and confidence to take the next step.

Mr. Silvio Pedrazzi, CEO, guaranteed that the new loan to Intesa Sanpaolo Bank Albania will support the introduction of even more inclusive, sustainable and gender-responsive products specifically designed for female entrepreneurs, who should consider the Bank a long term business partner and a supporter of their efforts to succeed in a very challenging environment.  

Mrs. Zsuzsanna Hargitai, Director, Regional Head of Western Balkans, EBRD emphasized the important role this program is playing in promoting women’s participation in business, their access to finance and the technical expertise they need to grow, offering trainings in financial management, digitalization or any other business need. Women in Business gave the best example in improving the loan portfolio, by resulting in zero non performing loans (NPLs). The Albanian Government is certainly a crucial partner for all our programs, creating the conditions for the continuous improvement of the business climate. 

Mrs. Anila Denaj, Minister of Finance in her remarks thanked the fruitful collaboration of EBRD with the banking sector and praised the boost it is giving to the inclusion of women in the economic growth of the country, continuing to keep a focus in the support of Small & Medium Enterprises as the backbone of the economy.  

The ceremony was greeted by H.E Mr. Johan Ndisi, Ambassador of Sweden in Tirana & H.E Mr. Alberto Cutillo, Ambassador of Italy in Tirana, Sweden, Italy and Luxemburg are the supporters of the program since its launch in 2014, providing over €30 million to partner financial institutions throughout the region, helping more than 2400 women enterprises to access business advice and mentoring, providing the online diagnostic tool Business Lens as well as continuous training and networking opportunities. 

Intesa Sanpaolo Bank Albania, part of Intesa Sanpaolo Group, it’s the fourth largest bank in the country, offering its banking services through a wide regional outreach of 34 branches and its innovative digital banking platform.  
The EBRD has invested so far, around €1.3 billion in 86 projects in Albania

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