Ecobank, the leading pan-African bank, on Monday March 7th, 2022, announced the launch of a revamped Ellevate program focused on giving women-owned businesses; businesses with a high percentage of female employees or board members or businesses making products for women, access to a variety of specialty tools and resources needed to thrive and prosper.
The Ellevate Programme is a membership offering that provides a specialist suite of services designed to reduce barriers faced by women in business, through a three-tier approach, namely, smarter cash management and collections, favourable lending rates as well as empowerment through leadership training, support and development.
Speaking at the launch event held at Mestil Hotel in Kampala, Ecobank Uganda Managing Director Grace Muliisa said that the relaunch of the Ellevate Women Empowerment Programme was informed by recent studies by the World Bank (2021) that among others showed that women business owners in Uganda faced several gender-specific barriers to their enterprise performance. These, include lower levels of innovation, lower use of capital and labour, and segregation into lower-value sectors yet they make up 38.2% of the overall business ownership in Uganda―impressively the highest in Africa.
“At Ecobank, we believe that with the right tools and resources we can not only increase the number of female-owned businesses but also support the growth, sustainability and resilience of the existing ones,” Muliisa told the many leading and influential women business leaders, attending the event.
Ecobank Uganda is a subsidiary of Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI), the pan-African financial conglomerate headquartered in Lome, Togo, but with presence in 33 countries in Africa. In Uganda, the bank has 10 branches in Kampala, Entebbe, Mbarara, Jinja, Mukono and Bugema as well as 30 ATMs across the country with over 170 personnel and 390 Xpress Point (agency banking points). The bank serves numerous customers through its Consumer, Commercial and banking, SME and treasury divisions. Ecobank 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.
The Ecobank Group also has a banking license in France and representative offices in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Johannesburg, South Africa; Beijing, China; London, UK; and Dubai, the United Arab Emirates.
“We have great solutions for cash management and collections including Omnilite Online Banking, POS Solutions, and Ecobank Pay Digital Payments as part of the Ellevate offering. We also have special financial products like receivables financing, contract and LPO financing, and asset financing of up to $50,000, the biggest for a WIB program in the market currently,” she added.
The programmes relaunch is in line with this year’s International Women’s Day theme #BreakTheBias which seeks to support efforts geared towards breaking boundaries by encouraging women to step into previously unfamiliar territories of business.
“On top of all that, we know how hard it can be to run a business-especially a female-owned one-which is why we’re here to offer support and development with business promotion via Google My Business, networking opportunities with experts in the field, and leadership training to help you develop your skills and keep your company growing in the right direction,” she concluded.
To enjoy these services, which also include FREE banking, one simply has to open an Ellevate Account and make a deposit.