By Modupe Gbadeyanka
At least 40 million women-owned or women-managed businesses in the country will benefit from the Ellevate initiative of Ecobank Nigeria launched on Wednesday.
Ellevate is 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.
Speaking at the unveiling of the scheme, the Managing Director of Ecobank Nigeria, Mr Patrick Akinwuntan, explained that the Ellevate product 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 was 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.
It 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,” the bank chief said.
He further 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.
Founder of Ruff n Tumble, Nike Ogunlesi, who was a panellist at the event, advised women business owners to avail themselves of the opportunity provided by Ecobank through Ellevate to develop their businesses.
She called on women entrepreneurs to be resilient and know the role customers, people, finance, community, and technology play in business growth.
On her part, Innovations and Partnerships Advisor at Nigeria for Women Project, Tolulope Babajide, said “with Ellevate, Ecobank truly understands the needs of women-owned businesses. She spoke on scalability, sustainability, and expansion of MSMEs.”
Other speakers at the event, including the founder, Health Africa, Fola Laoye; the founder, Braveline Growth Partners, Taba Peterside, all lauded Ecobank for initiating such a product, stating that it would benefit women businesses and lift many families out of poverty.
Standard Chartered Introduces Smart Business Loan
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
A credit facility package targeted at small business owners in Nigeria called Smart Business Loan (SBL) has been introduced by Standard Chartered Bank.
The product was designed to help players in the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) sector meet their short to medium-term needs. It is an unsecured instalment/term loan to business banking clients within key target sectors.
A statement from the lender explained that qualified business banking clients will be able to access up to N20 million loan without providing tangible security/collateral to purchase assets, finance business expansion and other capital expenditure needs.
The maximum tenor for the credit facility is two years, Business Post gathered.
Before now, customers were required to provide full collateral cover to access loans from the bank’s business banking segment but SBL provides the necessary flexibility to its clients.
“As a bank, our purpose is to drive commerce and prosperity in the locations we operate in. This is done through offering cash, lending, trade and wealth management solutions that specifically drive economic growth,” the Head of Consumer, Private and Business Banking (CPBB), at Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria, Mr David Idoru, stated.
“Within our CPBB, the promotion of commerce is largely done through our business banking segment by banking SMEs.
“We are constantly looking for ways to ensure our clients get access to the needed support to enable their businesses to thrive and SBL provides the necessary flexibility for business growth,” Mr Idoru added.
DLM Capital Praises Employees for Global Finance Award
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Employees of DLM Capital Group, a leading developmental investment bank in Nigeria, have been applauded for the award received by the company recently.
DLM Capital was named the Best Development Finance Company Nigeria 2021 by the Global Banking and Finance Review magazine.
The honour was in recognition of the institution’s dedication to providing leadership and excellence in Nigeria’s development finance space.
While commenting on the award, the Head of Investment Banking at DLM Capital, Mr Emeka Ngene, said the honour was made possible as a result of the continuous collaboration of the DLM community.
“It is indeed an honour to receive this recognition from such a prestigious body as Global Banking and Finance Awards.
“We are pleased to be associated with this award which speaks to our dedication and hard work in addition to the expertise and innovative solutions we have implemented over the years.
“This further demonstrates our commitment to designing and implementing developmental funding solutions for the development of the country.
“We are therefore dedicating this award to our team for their continuous support in ensuring that DLM Capital thrives in its pursuit to push the frontiers of developmental capital market solutions in the Nigerian financial ecosystem.
“We are delighted once again to have been identified for our accomplishments among other players across the continent,” he stated.
Since 2011, the Global Banking & Finance Awards has honoured companies that stand out in their various areas of expertise in the banking and finance industry, thereby recognizing the accomplishments and significant revolutions that emerge every year within the global finance community.
Ecobank Offers Back-to-School Loan Packages to Parents
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
The desire to ease the financial burdens of parents and guardians as regards the payment of school fees of their children and wards for the 2021/2022 school year has made Ecobank Nigeria come up with affordable loan packages.
The Head of Consumer Banking at Ecobank Nigeria, Mrs Korede Demola-Adeniyi, explained that the introduction of the credit facility is in line with the lender’s overall strategy to support the development of the nation’s education sector.
A statement from the financial institution disclosed that the loan packages were designed under its back-to-school initiatives and are also available to school owners through special infrastructure loans.
“As a bank that has the interest of its customers at heart especially at this period when schools resume, we understand the importance of education. Children deserve to go to school and we are making it easy for parents to provide them with this basic right,” she said.
Speaking specifically on the loans available for the educational institutions, she noted that they could be accessed without bottlenecks as the bank has taken into cognisance the harsh effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mrs Demola-Adeniyi urged schools to appoint the bank as their preferred financial institution for payments and collections, noting that Ecobank has demonstrated pedigree and expertise in fees collection, locally and internationally.
She further encouraged schools and individuals that are yet to open Ecobank accounts to do so in order to access the offers available.
The banker also said Ecobank’s digital offerings are targeted at reducing the financial burden on parents, students and schools, and also facilitating the ease of payment of fees without hassles.
She listed the digital offerings to include Ecobank Mobile App, EcobankPay and Ecobank Online for contactless fees payment; personal loans and salary advance packages at competitive interest rates, international transfers for offshore school fees payment and affordable remittance offerings.
Mrs Demola-Adeniyi also noted that families abroad who wish to send money home to help with fees can do so at zero charges on the Rapidtransfer app.
The bank has also provided the banking-for-school pack for educational institutions to access working capital and loans. The features of this pack include easy fee collections, zero charges on collection accounts with EcobankPay, secure online banking with Omni Lite and cards for easy payments.
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