The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a multilateral development finance institution, recently provided loan funds totaling EUR 3 million (USD 3.14 million) to Kreditimi Rural i Kosoves (KRK), a microfinance firm in Kosovo. The government of Sweden is supporting the loan with an unspecified amount of funding for grants and technical assistance. Of the loan package, one third is slated for women-owned businesses. The other portion targets increased competitiveness in areas such as “strategy, products, processes and marketing.”
Aleksandra Vukosavljevic, EBRD Director for Financial Institutions, said, “Improving access to finance and know-how will help boost the competitiveness of local MSMEs [micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises] and create more jobs and business opportunities in the country. With the Women in Business programme in particular helping to bridge the gender gap in Kosovo, the EBRD has allocated EUR 12 million (USD 13 million) to date here under this programme.”
Founded in 2000, KRK is a microfinance institution based in the city of Pristina that offers loan products designed for farmers, traders, and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). It was founded as the Rural Finance Project of Kosovo to assist farmers and other rural microentrepreneurs in restoring agricultural production capacity lost during the Kosovo war of 1998 and 1999. KRK has a network of 27 branches, 250 employees and an active loan portfolio of EUR 49 million (USD 52 million) as of June 2022. The institution does not accept deposits.
Founded in 1991 and based in the UK, EBRD seeks to support a “transition to open, market economies, whilst fostering sustainable and inclusive growth” in 38 countries in Central Asia, Eastern Europe and North Africa. It does this by providing business advice, supporting trade finance, and investing debt and equity in funders of MSMEs. The institution disbursed approximately EUR 10.4 billion (USD 11.1 billion) to 413 projects during 2021. EBRD’s shareholders comprise 71 countries in addition to the EU and the European Investment Bank.
By Sheen Gupta, Research Associate
Sources and Additional Resources
EBRD press release
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