Ecobank Wins at DBN Awards for Supporting MSMEs, Women Entrepreneurs

December 4, 2023
Ecobank Wins at DBN Awards

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

For supporting Micro, Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (MSMEs) with credit facilities, Ecobank Nigeria Limited has won big at the 2023 Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) Annual Service Ambassador Awards ceremony held in Lagos.

The DBN Ambassadors Programme was designed to increase the sense of ownership among participating financial institutions, build capacity, increase on-lending small businesses and ultimately deepen financial inclusion in Nigeria.

Ecobank is a participating financial institution in partnership with DBN to provide credit facilities, credit guarantees and technical support to MSMEs.

It got an award for Platinum Service Ambassador; Bank with the Highest Impact on Women Issues, and Bank with the Highest Impact on MSMEs Accessing Credit for the first time.

Receiving the awards at the event, the Deputy Managing Director of Ecobank Nigeria, Mrs Carol Oyedeji, said the awards were a testament to the bank’s commitment to supporting and empowering women-owned businesses and assisting small businesses to access loans conveniently at cheaper interest rates for the development of the overall MSME subsector. Ecobank had the highest volume and value of transactions in these award categories.

She reiterated that Ecobank remains a women-friendly bank with many initiatives and innovative products targeted at empowering and sustaining female entrepreneurs in Africa such as Ellevate and Ecobank Female Entrepreneurs Initiative (EFEI), which are designed to empower and support female entrepreneurs.

Mrs Oyedeji noted that Ecobank recently signed a USD200 million risk-sharing agreement with the African Guarantee Fund (AGF), a specialized pan-African guarantee provider, stressing that it is aimed at catalysing economic growth and supporting entrepreneurial ventures – including women-owned SMEs on the continent.

“Through this partnership, both organisations are taking bold steps to enhance green financing and gender financing. It would eliminate the rigorous and restrictive requirements for collateral, particularly hindering women-focused businesses’ access to credit.”

“We have both financial and social empowerment initiatives for female entrepreneurs because we recognise women as the bedrock of most families and entrepreneurship in the society. We aim to eliminate the rigorous and restrictive requirements for collateral, hindering access to credit,” she noted.

In his welcome address, the Managing Director of DBN, Mr Tony Okpanachi, saluted the awardees, stating that their collaboration and commitment are impacting positively on the sustainable growth of the MSME sub-sector of the economy.

“Your unwavering commitment to forging a lasting impact on the MSMEs through our collaboration is a testament to your dedication to fuelling sustainable growth. The true essence of the DBN Awards shines through a celebration of sustainable triumph, where today’s aspirations evolve into tomorrow’s achievements.”

He explained that the DBN leverages its partnership with Participating Financial Institutions (PFI) to provide relatively cheaper loans as well as capacity-building initiatives to small businesses.

DBN was conceived by the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) in collaboration with global development partners to address the major financing challenges facing MSMEs in Nigeria.

Its objective is to alleviate financing constraints faced by MSMEs and small corporates in Nigeria through the provision of financing and partial credit guarantees to eligible financial intermediaries on a market-conforming and fully financially sustainable basis.

Modupe Gbadeyanka

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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