Fibank’s Smart Lady Initiative Keeps Uplifting Female Entrepreneurs

Last Updated on: 21st November 2023, 10:46 pm

Fibank (First Investment Bank) has been supporting Bulgarian business women since 2018 through its Smart Lady program. The programme offers a broad range of bank products at preferential terms, as well as financial and non-financial solutions to stimulate development, and has granted loans in the amount of almost BGN 130 million, helping over 1,000 women pursue their goals. Sectors supported by the program include transport, finance, agriculture, education and even construction.

Smart Lady also conducts coaching meetings for program participants, where they can upgrade their skills or find business partners, and in 2021 a special Sustainable Lady fund was created as part of the program in support of innovative green projects involving new or existing businesses run by women.

Anna-Maria Markova, Sustainable Lady Fund grant-winner in the Startup Business category, said: “Aerospheric is a project whose concept occurred to me at the women entrepreneur mentoring program in which I had the privilege to participate. In the project’s initial phase, a training and visitor center will be constructed in a former school building located about an hour’s drive from Sofia, on a property that we own. The center will serve as a destination for aviation enthusiasts of all ages and will provide seminars, training sessions and participation in a variety of activities. The second phase of the project envisages a consulting business focused on aviation companies and airports in the Eastern Europe region. With this phase, the innovative approach of the project comes: namely, the provision of services that are unique for Bulgaria and aim to reduce the carbon footprint of companies operating in the sector.”

Fibank’s Smart Lady program has been helping Bulgarian business women for over five years, providing loans of almost BGN 130 million and facilitating the development of their businesses through a range of financial and non-financial solutions. This year, Smart Lady has implemented a Sustainable Lady Fund to support innovative green projects, and is now accepting applications for its 2024 National Mentoring Program for Women Entrepreneurs.

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