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Akbank supports women-owned SMEs with the cooperation of CGF and EBRD 

Together with EBRD and CGF (Credit Guarantee Fund), Akbank supports women business owners and entrepreneurs by easing their access to funding. Within the scope of Financing and Consulting Support Program for Women's Businesses, SMEs that have difficulty in creating collateral and whose founders or managers are women will have the opportunity to install commercial loans with a grace period of up to 12 months at affordable interest rates with “Women-Owned SMEs Package.” The package will be offered with US$50m of funding from EBRD and 80% CGF guarantee support. Manufacturer-exporter women-owned SMEs will be able to get a loan of TRY 12m at a time, and other women-owned SMEs will be able to get a loan up to TRY 6.2m at a time, with a maximum of TRY 12m per customer.

SMEs benefiting from the loan will also be able to transfer money free of charge for 1 year. Within the scope of the package, new POS customers will be offered a commission rate advantage of 1.09% that is fixed for 3 months and a 50% discount on cash register POS service fees, and new commercial card customers will be offered chip-money up to TRY 1,000. Additionally, advantageous prices and rates on products such as artıpara and checkbooks await women-owned SMEs who are Akbank customers.

With this package, Akbank will support women-owned SMEs that sell or want to sell in marketplaces, not only with banking products, but also with collaborations to increase the sales of SMEs engaged in e-commerce. Women-owned SMEs who have Akbank commercial cards will have the opportunity to open accounts in all e-commerce marketplaces on a single platform and will be able to get Propars’ “Easy E-Commerce” package, which provides the management of all transactions in these marketplaces through a single portal, for TRY 855 instead of TRY 3,000. Women-owned SMEs that have Akbank commercial cards, who currently sell in marketplaces, will be able to purchase Usersdot's artificial intelligence-based package “Datadot Vendor Expert” for TRY 425 instead of TRY 675. SMEs that can access banking products at advantageous prices and rates, will be supported free of charge by the mentoring/consultancy services offered within the scope of the package, through industry-leading individuals and institutions determined according to their field of activity at every stage of the life cycle.

Stating that they will always continue to support women-owned SMEs as Akbank, Akbank SME Banking Marketing Department Head Melis Özdeğirmenci made the following statement about the Women-owned SMEs Package: “While COVID-19 negatively affected every segment of society, women were undoubtedly the most affected segment. The number of businesses established by women entrepreneurs in sectors such as tourism, accommodation, retail, entertainment and consultancy affected by the pandemic is significant, and the majority of them are micro-businesses. And supporting women-owned SMEs becomes very important at this point. Within the scope of our cooperation with the EBRD and CGF, women-owned SMEs will be able to benefit from our bank's 80% CGF Guaranteed Commercial Loan with Installments funded by the EBRD. With this loan, which the SMEs that women or mostly women are responsible for the general operational management of will benefit from, we both provide a solution to the collateral problem and provide the needed mentoring, consultancy and training free of charge after the financing needs are met. We are aware of the importance of women's more active participation in the economy for sustainable economic development and social development. We will not hesitate to shoulder the responsibility in this matter. We will continue to support our women-owned SMEs with different collaborations for an equal, fair and happier society.”

EBRD Deputy Head of Financial Institutions for Turkey, Arthur Poghosyan, said: “Starting and growing a business is one of the most powerful tools for women to build a better future for themselves and their communities. However, women face obstacles in many countries. With our USD 50m loan, Akbank will be able to finance more women's businesses in a way that best suits their needs. To date, 20,000 women in Turkey have benefited from loans, consultancy services, mentoring and training opportunities under the EBRD's flagship Financing and Advisory Support for Women in Businesses (TurWIB). We want to see women entrepreneurs succeed and we will provide them with a total of € 600m of new financing through our partner banks."

General Coordinator of the Credit Guarantee Fund (CGF) Özge Demir Kuzucu said; “We are aware of how important cash flow and access to funding are, especially for women entrepreneurs, in terms of the sustainability of production and employment. With this awareness, we strive to fulfill our part to provide financial access for entrepreneurs, the dynamic power of our country. Within the scope of the Women in Business (TurWIB) Program carried out with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), which is one of the steps we have taken in this field, we are happy to have a share in the establishment and development of women's businesses and their contribution to our country's economy, and we are proud to be by their side by providing funding. As the Credit Guarantee Fund, we will continue to work on new products, especially for women entrepreneurs, young entrepreneurs and SMEs who have started their businesses with limited resources and are trying to develop them”.

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