Focused on providing support for women, Ecobank Tanzania has launched an initiative that is deliberately designed to empower and support women-led and/or women-focused enterprises with financial and value-added solutions.
Called the ‘Ellevate Programme’, it is designed to boost businesses so they can reach their full potential and succeed. According to the bank, the decision to inaugurate the program stems from the fact that Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) account for about 90 percent of all businesses in Africa out of which, women own about a third of all registered African SMEs. In a statement, the Managing Director of Ecobank Tanzania, Charles Asiedu, said:
“Available data show that one-in-four (25.9 percent) of adult women in Africa start or manage a business. However, women have not enjoyed equal access to high quality, demand-driven financial services”
He reeled out estimates that women-owned SMEs face a $42 billion financing gap which makes lack of access to financing a common constraint to their business growth.
“We have specially designed Ellevate to meet the needs of women entrepreneurs through the provision of comprehensive, customized and tailor-made 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,” he said.