Ethiopia—Technical Assistance Programme to Support Lending Operations to the Women’s Entrepreneurship Development Project (WEDP)

Client: European Investment Bank

Duration: 2021-2023

Region: Sub-Saharan Africa

Country: Ethiopia

Solutions: Economic Growth

The development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) play a key role in Ethiopia’s drive to reach middle-income country status within the next decade, and women entrepreneurs are an important element of this growth equation. Currently, high minimum loan sizes and excessive collateral requirements restrict women’s access to loans from commercial banks, while microfinance institutions need greater support to enhance their potential for long-term sustainability and growth.

In 2012, the Government of Ethiopia and the World Bank launched the Women’s Entrepreneurship Development Project, a component of the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth & Development-funded Private Enterprise Programme Ethiopia project. Since that time, WEDP has provided loans and business development services to more than 15,000 women entrepreneurs in 10 urban centres in Ethiopia. The Technical Assistance Programme to Support Lending Operations to the Women’s Entrepreneurship Development Project (WEDP) further works to reduce unemployment in Ethiopia by offering women improved access to a diverse and responsible range of financial products aimed at encouraging income generation and business growth.

Our team provides capacity building and assistance to partner microfinance institutions (MFIs) and the Development Bank of Ethiopia (DBE) and ensures that WEDP funds are deployed in an efficient, responsible and sustainable manner, in accordance with client and WEDP standards and requirements.


Sample Activities

  • Understand the success factors and constraints of WEDP loan disbursement.
  • Provide tailormade assistance to WEDP actors and for new MFIs, such as refresher training, capacity building, needs assessment, and financial and social performance indicator reports.
  • Ensure DBE compliance with the European Investment Bank’s requirements.
  • Establish a local source of technical support for WEDP MFIs.
  • Develop a monitoring and evaluation database.


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