Ecobank Nigeria’s newly launched “Ellevate”, a gender-based proposition for women-owned businesses to reduce gender inequality in entrepreneurship and aid equal representation for women in the formal business sector. The Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Patrick Akinwuntan said the Ellevate product introduced to the nation’s financial landscape on Wednesday, is targeted at empowering at least 40 million women owned or women-managed businesses in the country. This he reiterated is part of Ecobank’s Group objective as the leading pan-African financial institution to drive financial integration and contribute to the economic development of the continent by deepening engagement with women-owned businesses.
“Ellevate is designed by Ecobank to empower women-owned and women-managed businesses in Nigeria and indeed across all our Africa footprints, leveraging various unique financial and non-financial benefits. Ellevate promises an end-to-end partnership in which they could gain access to financial services specially tailored for them, these include loans at special terms and other mouthwatering discounts. They will also get fixed deposit investments at special premium rates, zero account maintenance fee, continuous financial education and capacity building under our AUDA-NEPAD academy and other special arrangements. They will have access to networking and recognition under our business clubs as well as access to markets, leveraging our various e-commerce solutions,” he stated.
Akinwuntan reiterated that the businesses under Ellevate will also have “access to Ecobank’s unique digital payments and collections solutions like Omnilite for payments, EcobankpayNQR for contactless local and cross-border collections, modern POS channels, and various lifestyle benefits including campaigns and promotions to drive their business growth and personal well-being.” He said “the Ellevate proposition is a total package addressing the broad needs of women-owned businesses in Nigeria including businesses that produce for women.
In his comment, the special guest of honour, Managing Director, Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN), Mr Tony Okpanachi, represented by Mr. Bonaventure Okhaimo, Chief Operating Officer, lauded the Ecobank for introducing the product, stating that it would go a long way to assisting the target group. He disclosed that DBN was doing a lot to uplift small businesses in the country, stressing that it was ready to partner with reputable financial institutions such as Ecobank in that regard.