Addis Ababa, December 25/2020( ENA) Ethiopia and World Bank have signed on Friday a 100 million USD loan agreement for Women Entrepreneurship Development Project (WEDP) to increase earnings and employment of Micro and Small Enterprises (MSE) owned by women entrepreneurs.
World Bank Country Director for Ethiopia, Ousmane Dione and Finance State Minister Yasmin Wohabrebbi signed the agreement.
During the occasion, Finance State Minister Yasmin Wohabrebbi said limited access to credit has been binding constraint to the growth and competitiveness of firms, particularly MSEs.
She added that the first phase of the program that aims to increase earnings and employment of MSE owned or partially owned by women entrepreneurs have registered remarkable success.
Yasmin further stated that the program has made tangible contribution to the rise of full-time and part-time employment per MSEs and increase in yearly average business earnings.
“Inclusive growth and economic empowerment of women and youth are at the center of Ethiopia’s development agenda,” the State Minister noted.
According to her, the additional financing support to Women Entrepreneurship Development Project will be instrumental at enhancing credit access to MSEs to raise their earnings and employment creation.
World Bank Country Director for Ethiopia, Ousmane Dione said the Women Entrepreneurship Development Project has helped to substantially increase earnings and creating jobs since 2012.
More than 16,000 business owners have been able to access loans and more than 22,000 have completed training, he stated, adding “overall the project has generated more than 90,000 new jobs, of which 60 percent are women.”
The progress made by WEDP in growing Ethiopia’s women-owned businesses is threatened by COVID-19 crisis, Dione said, and emphasized “the additional finance aims to alleviate the impact of COVID-19 on women-owned enterprises.”