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Thematic Area:

Women Banking & Empowerment


2014 - 2021


European Bank for Reconstruction & Development (EBRD)


Turkey, Caucasus & Central Asia

Country Coverage:           


Project Overview

The objective of the Turkey Women in Business Programme (TurWiB) is to address the barriers to growth and multi-dimensional nature of women-led, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Turkey as well as increase their access to know how and skills. To promote a strong women-led SME sector in Turkey, phases 1 and 2 of the Project provide access to finance through credit lines to local banks dedicated to women-led SMEs, alongside business advice to help businesses become more competitive.

The Programme also includes technical assistance (TA) provided by Frankfurt School to Partner Banks (PBs) in an effort to help PBs understand the expectations of women entrepreneurs (WEs), integrate changes to business their models and delivery mechanisms to reach women-led SMEs, and introduce new women in business (WiB) products.

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To help PBs develop marketing and outreach mechanisms to WiB and understand the WiB profile, Frankfurt School experts first conducted baseline assessments of PBs including qualitative and quantitative audits. Based on the results, our experts provided tailored capacity building measures, institutional strengthening support and value propositions for each PB.

In addition, Frankfurt School experts developed and implemented a gender-training module, provided classroom trainings and training-of-trainers programmes to more than 600 PB staff to ensure sustainability. Finally, Frankfurt School experts supported PBs in optimising their Management Information System (MIS) to monitor gender-disaggregated data and to better track the performance of lending to WiB.

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Within this TA, Frankfurt School experts also designed a digital self-diagnostic tool for women SMEs (including rural SMEs) to enhance their business development skills and financial literacy. In total, 2,500 women participated in the self-diagnostic via Business Lens. Regarding financial support, education and encouragement initiatives that promote WiB growth and development, Frankfurt School implemented following activities together with the EBRD Advice for Small Business (ASB) team:

  • “Women in Business” seminar series for women-led SMEs’ (16 seminars);
  • Centralised training workshops and roundtables;
  • Two conferences for WiB empowerment with Project stakeholders;
  • “Women Entrepreneurship Excellence Award” structures at each PB;
  • 58 programme introductions and Business Lens promotion events in the regions; and
  • The development of a Gender Toolkit and gender awareness video.
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Cansu Karatay

Senior Project Manager

Regional Office Turkey, the Caucasus and Central Asia