The Ecobank Group, the leading pan-African banking group, has won two awards with its Ellevate Programme. The Financial Alliance for Women honoured Ecobank with its ‘Impact Award’, recognising Ecobank’s work in supporting women-owned and women-focused businesses across the continent. Ellevate by Ecobank also won the ‘Best New Product Launch of the Year’ award at the Middle East & Africa Retail Banking Innovation Awards.
In addition to these, The Digital Banker recognized Ecobank with the ‘Excellence in SME Banking’ award at its ceremony last night.
“Ellevate by Ecobank for women-owned, led or focused businesses is scaling heights in meeting the needs of these traditionally underserved entrepreneurs who have so much to offer to Africa’s commercial and economic development. To win three awards in just one month, highlights Ecobank’s successful positioning as the pan-African bank for SMEs through our comprehensive suite of dedicated solutions. These awards further consolidate on our recent recognition as ‘African SME Bank of the Year 2021’ in the African Banker Awards.
The African continent is one of the highest in terms of women entrepreneurs globally, with one in four women starting or managing a business. Ecobank’s specially designed Ellevate programme facilitates women’s businesses innovation and success by providing them with tailor-made relevant financial and non-financial solutions to meet their evolving needs. These include collateral-lite funding; smart cash management; increased access to markets through the development of an online presence in partnership with Google My Business; leadership training programmes; and networking opportunities.”Josephine Anan-Ankomah, Executive, Commercial Banking, Ecobank Group
Since its launch in November 2020, Ellevate has onboarded thousands of new women’s businesses, advanced loans worth US$52.5 million and attracted deposits of US$125 million.
Other recent initiatives implemented by Ecobank to support SMEs, include:
- MSMEs Training for Financing Programme in partnership with AUDA-NEPAD;
- Collaborating with African Development Bank on Green Climate Fund AFAWA, increasing finance access and capacity building for 400 women’s MSMEs in agribusiness, financing 14 years’ climate resilient activities;
- Launch of the Ecobank eCommerce solution to facilitate the delivery of a dedicated and unique online store enabling SME customers to expand their access to markets by selling their products and service online; and
Partnering with Microsoft on the Global Skilling Initiative to train, upskill and equip SMEs across sub-Saharan Africa with the vital skills and knowledge necessary to leverage digital tools and achieve their business goals in this increasingly digital world.