Ecobank Pledges Support to ‘Ellevate’ Women-Led Businesses on International Women’s Day 2024

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Ecobank Pledges Support to 'Ellevate' Women-Led Businesses on International Women's Day 2024

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Ecobank Pledges Support to ‘Ellevate’ Women-Led Businesses on International Women’s Day 2024

Ecobank Pledges Support to ‘Ellevate’ Women-Led Businesses on International Women’s Day 2024

Ecobank has reaffirmed its commitment to gender equality by celebrating and empowering women-led businesses at its Ellevate Client Appreciation Day held on International Women’s Day (IWD) 2024.

The event, themed ‘Investing in Women-Focused Businesses to Accelerate Progress’, brought together top women entrepreneurs and business professionals from various countries and sectors.

In her remarks, the bank’s Managing Director, Abena Osei-Poku, stated that the decision to provide dedicated solutions for women-focused businesses was not merely sentimental, as it brings with it enormous benefits.

“Ecobank will continue to step up our support to promote the interests of women-focused businesses, as the benefits of doing so are enormous and varied – all working to boost entrepreneurship and making significant contributions to Ghana’s GDP,” she said.

She explained that the Ellevate programme was designed specifically to address the challenges faced by women-owned businesses. It was launched in November 2020 in all 33 countries where Ecobank operates.

It exists to tackle the pervasive issue of limited access to finance for women-owned businesses, she added.

Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) – the backbone of African economies – are overwhelmingly female-owned, with women leading approximately a third of all registered MSMEs on the continent.

In Ghana, approximately 46.4 percent of businesses are owned by women, most of which fall within the MSME bracket.

However, the African Development Bank estimates a US$42billion financing gap for women-owned SMEs.

“Notwithstanding the daunting challenges, you, our invited guests, who are among our top women-focused business clients, have shattered glass ceilings, defied norms and built thriving business,” the Ecobank MD said to the guests gathered.

“Your stories inspire us all, reminding us that entrepreneurship knows no gender boundaries,” she added.

Ecobank’s Ellevate programme offers a suite of solutions to bridge this gap. It provides favourable lending rates, financial literacy training, mentorship opportunities and networking events designed to connect women entrepreneurs and foster collaboration.

“Ellevate is our commitment to ensuring women entrepreneurs have the financial and value-added solutions they need to succeed,” Mrs. Osei-Poku explained.

The Ellevate Client Appreciation Day did not just provide a platform to discuss finance as participants were introduced to the latest offerings from Ecobank.

Additionally, break-out sessions allowed women to interact with Ecobank representatives from various sectors, including agriculture, fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) and mining, education, healthcare, transportation, trade, renewable energy, creative arts and events.

“Ecobank’s Ellevate programme is a beacon of hope for women entrepreneurs across Africa. By providing much-needed financial and business support, Ecobank is empowering women to reach their full potential and drive sustainable economic growth on the continent,” one participant added.

Source: Thebftonline

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