Ecobank Retains Position as Africa’s Best Bank for SMEs

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By Aduragbemi Omiyale

For the second year running, Ecobank Group has been named as Africa’s Best Bank for SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) for providing funding support to small business owners on the continent.

The pan-African lending institution retained this position at the prestigious Euromoney Awards for Excellence held recently.

In selecting Ecobank as Africa’s Best Bank for SMEs, the judges based their decision on the company’s longstanding and unwavering commitment to satisfying the needs of SMEs.

“This award reflects Ecobank’s absolute commitment to supporting African SMEs and our continuous suite of innovations – financial and non-financial – to spur their growth and success.

“We aim to be the bank of choice for Africa’s SMEs.

“Undoubtedly, these SMEs are the key drivers for Africa’s economic growth, as they create jobs and generate prosperity while eliminating poverty across the continent,” the chief executive of Ecobank Group, Mr Jeremy Awori, commented.

In the last 12 months, Ecobank has launched major initiatives for the benefit of SMEs, including the Ecobank Single Market Trade Hub, which supports the AfCFTA’s single African market.

The hub is a one-stop shop providing information about the AfCFTA, access to Ecobank’s full range of trade facilitation products and solutions (covering trade finance, advisory, payments and collections), and a marketplace for products, services and businesses across Africa.

The firm has also come up with RapidCollect, which enables Ecobank’s business customers to receive payments from their clients in their home country and across Ecobank’s network of 33 affiliates instantly and at a lower cost than any other cross-border solution.

It has partnered with Mastercard Farm Pass to digitise the agricultural value chain for smallholder farmers, simplifying and better securing the process for obtaining a fair price for produce.

Customers of Ecobank, especially female entrepreneurs, have enjoyed Ellevate Equip Leadership Programme, with modules comprising emotional intelligence, leading with authenticity, defining strategic leadership, mastering influence, decision-making, and negotiating for results.

The bank has organised Financial Literacy Series to equip SME Managers and owners with the necessary financial education. The first in the series was Preparing SMEs for the Capital Markets, attracting nearly 3,500 registered participants.

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