BY SILAS APOLLO
The judges based their decision on the lender’s ‘longstanding and unwavering commitment’ to satisfying the needs of SMEs
Pan-African Banking Group, Ecobank has been named Africa’s Best Bank for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by the Euromoney Awards for Excellence.
Ecobank Chief Executive Officer Jeremy Awori said that the award, won for the second year running, (having also won the accolade in 2022), reflects the bank’s commitment to support African SMEs and its continuous suite of innovations 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, generate prosperity while eliminating poverty across the continent,” he said.
Ecobank has in the last 12 months launched major initiatives for the benefit of SMEs. They include the Ecobank Single Market Trade Hub, which supports the AfCFTA’s single African market.
This is a one-stop shop providing information about the AfCFTA, access to Ecobank’s full range of trade facilitation products and solutions as well as a marketplace for products, services and businesses across Africa.
The lender also has RapidCollect, which enables its business customers to receive payments from their clients in their home country and across Ecobank’s network of 33 affiliates, instantly.
It has also partnered with Mastercard Farm Pass where it has digitised the agricultural value chain for smallholder farmers, simplifying and better securing the process for obtaining a fair price for produce.
There is also the Ellevate Equip Leadership Programme for women led or focused business customers. It has modules which includes emotional intelligence, leading with authenticity, defining strategic leadership, mastering influence, decision-making and negotiating for results.
Others include the Financial Literacy Series that seeks to equip SME managers and owners with necessary financial education.
The first in the series was to prepare SMEs for the Capital Markets and attracted nearly 3,500 registered participants.
In selecting Ecobank as Africa’s Best Bank for SMEs, the judges based their decision on Ecobank’s longstanding and unwavering commitment to satisfying the needs of SMEs.