Tag Archives: Women in Business

On 7 March the “Women in Business” programme (WiB) was launched in Armenia to promote women’s entrepreneurship and support small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) led by women. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Union, the Early Transition Countries Fund and the Government of Sweden are funding this programme in Eastern Partnership countries. Armenia is one of the first countries to start WiB.
The programme will help women-led SMEs to access the finance and advice they need to grow, offer financing through local partner financial institutions, provide technical assistance for participating financial institutions, and impart business advice to women entrepreneurs. The programme also envisages individual advisory service projects, which will include mentoring and longer-term coaching. The EBRD is currently implementing WiB in 16 countries.
The EBRD made an initial contribution of $55 million, the Government of Sweden has allocated approximately €5.2 million, €4.5 million has been made available from the European Union Neighbourhood Investment Facility, and €0.9 million has also been provided by the EBRD’s Early Transition Countries Fund.
The Head of EU Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Piotr Świtalski, and the ERBD’s Head of Armenia Resident Office, Mark Davis, attended the WiB launch.

ARS_0336 Ambassador Świtalski highlighted the importance of women in all spheres of life: ‘We continuously support the empowerment of women, strengthening their role in politics, business and other spheres of life. We have supported and implemented different projects in different areas, in different regions. I am very happy that today we are continuing this tradition. I am very happy that Armenia is one of the first countries to benefit from this programme. We hope very much that we’ll be able to achieve the objectives and that the impact of SMEs in Armenia will increase. In this aspect, Armenia is lagging behind. Therefore, I hope this programme will be successful. Armenia is in the midst of an election period, so we are also supporting increased roles for women in politics. We encourage women not to be afraid to be active in politics, business and other spheres’.

ARS_0292Davis mentioned that if women-led SMEs were given equal opportunities, they could deliver in terms of economic performance and job creation: ‘There is a saying that a man is the head of the family and a woman is the neck. I believe that women can do a lot more. Armenia is ranked 102th among 144 countries in the 2016 Global Gender Gap Index, the lowest figure in the region. This figure highlights why women’s business comes such a fundamental focus of EBRD’.

On the eve of 8 March, Ambassador Świtalski concluded the day by meeting Euroclub members in Yerevan, where he congratulated women on the occasion of International Women’s Day. They had an informal discussion on various topics, particularly women’s and gender issues.