Ethiopia, World Bank Sign $100m Financing Agreement (December 25, 2020)

Ethiopia and the World Bank have signed a loan agreement of $100 million for the women entrepreneurship development project (WEDP).

The project aims to increase the earnings and employment of Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) owned or partly owned by female entrepreneurs.

The project will also provide business trainings to female micro and small business-owners registered with the WEDP program as well as technical assistance to implementing agencies such as TVET colleges and city MSE development offices.

The agreement was signed here today by State Minister of Finance, Yasmin Wohabrebbi, and World Bank Country Director for Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan and Eritrea, Ousmane Dione.

Yasmin said, “the timely response, to reach those that have been highly impacted by the pandemic is critical in ensuring the financial sector has adequate liquidity to reach MSEs to reduce the loss of livelihoods and jobs.”

She also explained the importance of developing tailored financial instruments, which allow MSEs to survive during challenging times saying “Women-owned businesses are disproportionately affecting by limited access to credit because they are less likely to present collateral guarantees to access credit”.

The State Minister also emphasized inclusive growth and economic empowerment of women and youth are at the center of Ethiopia’s development agenda.

Ousmane Dione for his part said “the Bank has been working to open doors for female entrepreneurs in Ethiopia by providing the necessary finance, skills, services and support they need to grow their business in order to grow their earnings and create jobs for Ethiopians.

“The WEDP additional financing aims to secure the gains made by the previous phases of the project which have been rated highly satisfactory due to its innovative and effective model of reaching women entrepreneurs.

“The project, in the past, has helped Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) upscale to reach women entrepreneurs, who often fall in the category of underserved market segments.

“The project has enabled first-time borrowers to access loans through introducing innovative approaches such as data-driven credit scoring technologies, which can predict the ability of a borrower to repay a loan and in turn have significantly reduced collateral requirements.”

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