Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) account for about 90% of all businesses in Africa and women own about a third of all registered African SMEs. Indeed, one-in-four (25.9%) of adult women in Africa start or manage a business. However, women have not enjoyed equal access to high quality, demand driven financial services and it is estimated that women-owned SMEs face a US$42 billion financing gap, making lack of access to financing a common constraint to their business growth.
Considering the fact that the growth of women-led and women-focused businesses have been long hampered by range of impediments, including access to finance; Alice Kilonzo- Zulu, the Managing Director of Ecobank Rwanda has said that the bank has come up with holistic solutions to help women overcome existing barriers.
“We have specially designed Ellevate to meet the needs of women entrepreneurs through the provision of comprehensive, customised and tailormade solutions which include favourable lending rates, smart cash management enablement and a suite of value-added services such as leadership training, mentoring and networking opportunities. Ecobank Commercial Bank is allocating a minimum of 10% of its loan portfolio to women’s businesses,” she said.
“Women-led businesses are a largely underserved market and Ecobank Rwanda is determined to help them reach their potential, grasp business opportunities and become both scalable and sustainable. This will enable them to play a major role in Africa’s social and economic development, in addition to creating millions/hundreds of thousands of the jobs needed by this and future generations of Rwandans,” she added.
The formal launch of Ellevate by in Rwanda will be at a webinar on 27th July 2021 in English and Kinyarwanda at 9h:00am Kigali Time.
All are invited to join the Ellevate webinar by registering here
For further information about Ellevate, please visit www.ecobank.com/ellevate
About Ecobank Rwanda
Ecobank Rwanda PLC was established on 6th July 2007. It is licensed and supervised by the National Bank of Rwanda. The Bank has its Head Office located in KN4 Avenue in Kigali, Nyarugenge District, and has 8 other branches, 32 ATMs, 290 Xpress Point agents,2272 merchants and serves numerous customers through its Consumer, Commercial and Corporate banking divisions.
The Bank is 100 per cent owned by Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI), the pan-African financial conglomerate headquartered in Lomé, Togo, which operates in 33 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The Group offers a full suite of banking products, services and solutions including bank and deposit accounts, loans, cash management, advisory, trade, securities, wealth and asset management. ETI is listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchanges in Lagos, the Ghana Stock Exchange in Accra, and the Bourse Régionale des Valeurs Mobilières in Abidjan. For further information please visit www.ecobank.com