The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is partnering with Bank of Palestine to empower Palestinian women entrepreneurs under the Women in Business programme, to help grow their businesses at a time when the Covid-19 pandemic is severely impacting the economy.
The programme will facilitate access to finance for women-led small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and increase their participation in the local market. It will also provide business advice to help them grow their companies.
The programme in the West Bank and Gaza is partially funded by the Netherlands through the EBRD Multi donor Trust Fund.
As a first joint initiative under the programme, the EBRD is providing a US$ 15 million financing package to support local SMEs, including US$ 2 million dedicated to financing women entrepreneurs.
The programme will also help address the low 21% labour participation rate of women in the West Bank and Gaza. The EBRD aims to bridge this gender gap and help address the low representation of women entrepreneurs with tailored capacity-building for Bank of Palestine. In addition to financing, programme beneficiaries will also receive training, mentoring and advice to successfully manage and expand their businesses.
Since the start of its operations in the West Bank and Gaza in 2017, the EBRD has signed 13 projects for a total amount of US$ 51 million.