The EBRD is an International Finance Institution (IFI) that promotes entrepreneurship and open, democratic market economies in 36 countries.

About EBRD

Since its establishment in 1991, the EBRD has become the largest financial investor in a region that stretches from central Europe and the Western Balkans to central Asia and the southern and eastern Mediterranean region. Working mainly with private sector clients, while also financing municipal entities and publicly owned companies, the EBRD invests in projects, engages in policy dialogue and provides technical advice that builds sustainable and open-market economies. In all its operations the bank follows the highest standards of corporate governance and sustainable development.

The Program

The EBRD values gender equality as an integral part of its commitment to promoting sustainable and environmentally sound development across its investment and donor-funded activities. Through its Strategic Gender Initiative (SGI), adopted in 2013, the EBRD seeks to increase the women’s participation in the economy. The SGI adopted a targeted approach, focusing on three channels that promote women’s (a) Access to Finance; (b) Access to Employment and Skills; and (c) Access to Services, in all its countries of operations with a particular focus on those where the largest gender gaps exist, namely SEMED, Turkey and Central Asia. Under the SGI, the Bank developed specific tools to promote gender equality within the ambit of its mandate. These products include:

  • An integrated approach to Access to Finance Programme, as represented by the Women in Business Programmes
  • Equal Opportunities Audits helping clients to improve their Human Resources policies and practices, as part of increasing women’s Access to Employment and Skills
  • The design of gender-responsive services in infrastructure investments as part of Access to Services that address women’s and men’s different needs from project design through to delivery at the point of service.

Building on the lessons learned from the SGI and in line with its commitment to mainstream gender into its operations by 2020, the Bank is currently in the process of adopting its Strategy for the Promotion of Gender Equality.



The EBRD was founded
in 1991.

The bank is owned by
64 countries, as well
as the European Union
and the European
Investment Bank.

The EBRD operates in
36 countries, from
central Europe to
central Asia.


Follow the EBRD