The World Bank on Friday announced a $100 million loan to Ethiopia to finance women entrepreneurship development projects in the east African nation.The project aims to increase the earnings and employment of Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) which are fully or partly owned by female entrepreneurs.
The agreement was signed by State Minister of Finance, Yasmin Wohabrebbi, and World Bank Country Director for Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan and Eritrea, Ousmane Dione.
Yasmin said the loan is a timely response for women entrepreneurs whose businesses were affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
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 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,” he added.