Uganda Development Bank (UDB)’s first dedicated credit line to women entrepreneurs in partnership with EIB


Ugandan women own about 39 percent of businesses with registered premises, yet they receive only nine percent of commercial credit (IFC and DFCU group, 2008). UDB's first-ever loan to be signed under the SheInvest Initiative in partnership with EIB will help bridge this credit gap.

Together with EIB, the Uganda Development Bank (UDB) is committed to contribute to close this gender gap by dedicating a minimum of 30% of a EUR 15m loan to businesses that meet one of the 2X Challenge criteria on entrepreneurship, leadership, employment or consumption.  

With improved access to finance (more funds and/or better conditions), these women owned/led SMEs will be able to start, sustain and or broaden their activities, which would also support their competitiveness.They will receive capacity building too covering areas such as business plan writing, development of marketing plans, and general financial and business management best practices.

“This is the first loan to be signed under the SheInvest Initiative undertaken by the EIB. This loan will help address gender inequality issues in access to finance, particularly, suffered by women. We will also work together in strengthening technical capacities of financial institutions in Uganda” – Robert Schofield, Head of Financial Sector Division at EIB

The commitment of dedicating 30% of the credit line to business that meet the 2X Challenge criteria have been included in the financial contract and side letter as well as in the allocation reporting tool that UDB will use for its reporting to EIB.

“This new cooperation supported by EUR 15 million from the EIB represents the first dedicated financing intended to reduce gender inequalities and encourage economic empowerment of women backed by the world’s largest international public bank in East Africa, UDB” - Patricia Ojangole, Managing Director of UDB

With support from EIB, UDB is also developing a gender strategy that will guide the organization on how to better reach women clients and is looking to strengthen its institutional systems to ensure effective monitoring and reporting on sex-disaggregated data and relevant gender metrics. The data monitoring will also inform product and pipeline development.


About UDB:

The Uganda Development Bank (UDB) is the national development bank owned by the Government of Uganda. Founded in 1973, it finances projects that are identified as having significant, positive socio-economic impact but deemed unattractive by commercial banks and other conventional financial institutions.

Frank Tobé