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First Forum for South East Eauropean Women Entrepremeurs 21-22 September 2010, Istanbul Report Working Group 2 : Financing Presented by Ewa Ruminska-Zimny,

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Presentation on theme: "First Forum for South East Eauropean Women Entrepremeurs 21-22 September 2010, Istanbul Report Working Group 2 : Financing Presented by Ewa Ruminska-Zimny,"— Presentation transcript:

1 First Forum for South East Eauropean Women Entrepremeurs September 2010, Istanbul Report Working Group 2 : Financing Presented by Ewa Ruminska-Zimny, Chair and Alma Bijedic, Rapporteur

2 Issues discussed Financing schemes for SMS in the context of current economic crisis in South East Europe Gender-specific barriers in access to financing faced by women entrepreneurs Good practices and initiatives of international financial institutions and regional banks (EBRD, Council of Europe Bank, Nordic Bank), governments/ national institutions (Guarantee Bank, Turkey, micro-credit programme in Bosnia and Herzegovina, programme of Croatian Government) and local authorities (Guarantee Fund, Voyevodina, Serbia)

3 Conclusions (1) The main problem is not the lack of funds but low awareness on gender-specific barriers in the finance sector These barriers exist in all countries due to differences between men and women in income/wealth (lack of collateral), size of business but also a traditional mind set Financial sector considers womens entrepreneurship as a social issue (i.e fighting unemployment / poverty); and as such it is not within its responsibility and evaluation criteria based on profit In reality support to women is also smart economics as female businesses are the most dynamic part of SMEs sector in most countries with high repayment rates (loyal and reliable clients) Making the economic case for gender –sensitive financing should be part of reforms/ changes in mind set in the finance sector after the crisis (back to basics, lowering risk, positive PR) Women should also improve their knowledge on how financial sector operates (sources of funding, how to apply etc

4 Conclusions (2) Finance sector cannot eliminate gender-specific barriers in access to financing alone Progress requires cooperation of Governments at national and local levels (SME policies, quarantees), market institutions (Chambers of Commerce), women business associations (WBA), academia and NGOs as well as international/regional financial institutions and organizations Ensuring financing for female businesses with innovative potential and capacity to grow is essential in modern economy New partners in this area are Patent Offices with few gender related initiatives, such as annual Conferences on women in innovative economy initiated by the Polish Patent Office and WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) Sharing and using good practices is essential (special credit lines for women, micro-credit, guarantees, property rights )

5 Recommendations for RCC work 1. Integrate financing issues into project activities to raise awareness, establish a regional platform and exchange good practices 2. Bring men to the process as they dominate the decision making in the finance sector 3. Make full use of existing regional structures in project implementation (such as SEECE, Women Business Assciations etc) 4. Promote and support capacity building on gender aspects of economic policy and gender-sensitive financing aimed at economists, policy makers and representatives of finance sector 5. Explore the possibility of a pilot project in SEE based on the experience of the Nordic Bank/Council of Europe project for the Baltic countries; its objective could be establishing special credit lines for innovative women entrepreneurs with the support of Governments, commercial banks and regional institutions/banks


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