Source: eKapija | Sunday, 07.06.2015.| 13:31
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EBRD provides funding to rural entrepreneurs in Serbia through Societe Generale Bank

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is joining forces with Societe Generale Banka Srbija a.d. to boost financial inclusion in Serbia with a guarantee facility for a project of up to 2.3 billion Serbian dinars (approximately €20 million) to support local micro entrepreneurs, the banks announced in a release on Friday.

The funding extended by Societe Generale Srbija will be supported by an EBRD-provided guarantee of up to 1.15 billion dinars (approximately €10 million) to endorse lending to micro entrepreneurs in rural areas of Serbia. According to the World Bank, the lack of access to financial services in Serbia’s rural areas remains significant, with only 55 per cent of the population having bank accounts compared with 72 per cent in urban areas.

- By supporting under-served regions we hope to expand consistent, reliable and professional financial services to micro entrepreneurs who so far have been excluded from these opportunities - said Henry Russell, EBRD Director for Financial Institutions for the Western Balkans, Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine.

EBRD Director for Serbia Matteo Patrone assessed that the new credit facility would be vey important for the Serbian economy as entrepreneurs were its backbone.

- Within the framework of this project, Societe Generale Srbija is able to support more than 10,000 clients per year with the long-term goal of helping these people develop their businesses so as to become everyday bank users - Stanislas Tertrais, EB Vice President, Societe Generale Srbija, explained.

Since the start of its operations in Serbia, the EBRD has invested more than €3.8 billion in 188 projects across Serbia.

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