EFSE boosts support for women entrepreneurs in Armenia with USD 10 million loan to AraratBank

Luxembourg, 2 July 2024 – In a significant move to enhance economic resilience and business growth in Armenia, the European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE) has extended a USD 10 million loan facility to AraratBank. This investment, complementing the support from early 2024, aims to empower women entrepreneurs by facilitating access to finance. 

The new funding will enable ARARATBANK to issue over 300 sub-loans with longer maturities, targeting micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and especially those that are either majority owned or led by women. This initiative is part of a broader effort to bolster business sustainability and job creation in Armenia, with the potential to support nearly 1,500 jobs and stimulate further investment in the MSME sector amidst ongoing geopolitical challenges. 

Oxana Binzaru, EFSE Regional Director, commented on the partnership: “We are proud to strengthen our collaboration with AraratBank, a long-standing partner committed to fostering inclusive economic growth. This USD 10 million loan is a testament to our shared dedication to enhancing the financial inclusion and empowerment of women entrepreneurs in Armenia, supporting them in overcoming the various challenges they face in the business world.” 

Mher Ananyan, Chairman of the Executive Board of AraratBank noted: "The recent focus of the bank’s policy has been on supporting women entrepreneurs in the best possible way, aiming to bring their business ideas to fruition effectively. The new cooperation with our trusted partner EFSE will further bolster this effort, making the process even more impactful.” 

This strategic investment underscores EFSE’s commitment to driving development impact and supporting Armenia’s economy by empowering a critical segment of the business community. 

About EFSE
​An impact investment fund established in 2005, the European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE) aims to foster economic development and prosperity in Southeast Europe and the Eastern Neighbourhood Region. ​EFSE was initiated by KfW Development Bank with the financial support of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the European Commission. As the first public-private partnership of its kind, EFSE draws its capital from donor agencies, international financial institutions, and private institutional investors. Finance in Motion GmbH, Germany, serves as EFSE’s advisor and Hauck & Aufhäuser Fund Services S.A., Luxembourg, acts as manager. For more information on the European Fund for Southeast Europe, please visit: www.efse.lu

About AraratBank
Founded in 1991, ARARATBANK OJSC is one of the leaders in the Armenian banking sector, providing the latest and highest quality banking services to both individuals and legal entities, applying cutting-edge technologies and creating a special business culture in bank-client relations.
With the innovative banking technologies and best practices of corporate governance, the bank has 50 branches across the country. ARARATBANK actively participates in the real sector of Armenian economy, particularly in SME lending. ARARATBANK cooperates with a wide network of reputable international financial institutions. 

Media contact EFSE
Nusha Westhoff
Director Marketing & Communications  
Mobile: +49 69 271 035-789

Media contact Araratbank  
Anna Allahverdyan 
Advisor on Public Relations  
to the Executive Director of AraratBank 
Email: pr@araratbank.am  
Phone: +374 10 59 23 23 (extension number – 8015) 

Get in touch

Interested in learning more about how the fund works, or seeking partnership opportunities? Contact an EFSE representative today.


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