The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing up to €6 millionh to Banka për Biznes in Kosovo for on-lending to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).
The project will promote entrepreneurship and market competitiveness by increasing access to finance for privately owned MSMEs. It will also enable strategic, product and marketing innovation in MSME lending at the partner financial institution.
The funding will expand the lending capacities of Banka për Biznes, with a particular focus on the agricultural and manufacturing sectors, which are currently underserved in Kosovo. The EBRD aims to promote the green economy, one of the Bank’s strategic priorities in the country, by ensuring that 30 per cent of the funding goes to boost green projects eligible under the EBRD’s Green Economy Transition approach.
EBRD Head of Kosovo Sergiy Maslichenko said: “We are pleased to support Banka për Biznes in its small business lending. Our main priority is to support the private sector, which plays a crucial role in the country’s economic development. Supporting Kosovo’s MSMEs with a focus on the agricultural and manufacturing sectors also means job creation and innovation, because small businesses account for most of the country’s employment.”
Mimoza Godanci, CEO of Banka për Biznes, said: “We are grateful for our enduring partnership with the EBRD, which has proven instrumental in our efforts to support the growth and development of MSMEs in Kosovo. It is our belief that by strengthening the private sector, we are contributing to the overall vitality of Kosovo’s economy and furthering the country’s progress towards broader regional integration. We look forward to leveraging this funding to make a lasting impact on the businesses and communities we serve.”
Banka për Biznes, founded in 2001, is a universal bank in Kosovo with particular focus on serving the banking needs of local MSMEs. The EBRD is a long-time partner of the bank and holds a 10 per cent equity stake in it.
The EBRD successfully launched the Western Balkans Youth in Business programme with a first project in Kosovo, in collaboration with Banka për Biznes, in September last year. This programme also focuses on MSMEs and is one of the types of financing Banka për Biznes provides in cooperation with the EBRD.
The EBRD’s strategic priorities in Kosovo are to promote the green economy, support the competitive development of the private sector and foster regional integration.
To date, it has invested more than €625 million in Kosovo through over 100 projects.