Ecobank Senegal yesterday signed a partnership with the Sephis foundation to optimize the implementation of its Ellever program in favor of women, in particular on the training and capacity building component. In this sense, the Pan-African bank is making a loan of 1 billion CFA available to the Sephis foundation.
Since its creation, the Ecobank group has taken a stand in favor of equality of gender rights. It is a reminder launched yesterday by the director of the commercial banking department of Ecobank Senegal. To reinforce this commitment, Assiétou Thiam Diakhaté, in this case, adds that Ecobank launched in 2020, within its 33 branches, the “Ellever” program intended to support women entrepreneurs.
Since its inception, she said, when she signed a partnership linking her facility and the Sephis foundation, the “Ellever” program has granted $ 94 million to female entrepreneurs and women-led businesses. In fact, adds Ms. Diakhaté, Africa has the largest number of female entrepreneurs, one in four. And, according to her, the funding gap for them is about $ 42 billion.
Therefore, firmly committed to the empowerment of women and the promotion of female entrepreneurship, she stresses that Ecobank wanted to collaborate with the Sephis foundation, which works for the education and training of young people, especially young women, in leadership. Since its creation, it has supported more than 20,000 beneficiaries and has 12 representations around the world, says Ms Diakhaté.
Speaking of the stakes of this partnership, Assiétou Thiam Diakhaté specifies that Senegal is the second country after Côte d’Ivoire to benefit from the support of the Sephis foundation. Support for women in addition to being financial will also be technical with the establishment of vocational training, trust in the process.
“This partnership therefore aims to cover the capacity-building component for women of the“ Ellever ”program and provides access to a one billion (1,000,000,000) CFA francs funding line.
Furthermore, as regards Ecobank’s prospects in Senegal, it indicates that over 62% of women in the country choose entrepreneurship. As such, she continues, Senegal is at the forefront of sub-Saharan African states in business creation by women.
Therefore, the Ecobank group, through this partnership, claims to provide a solution to female entrepreneurs through tailored support in terms of liquidity management, digital solutions, loan products and training. “This marks a significant step forward for us in achieving our strategic goals,” she said.
Finally, before underlining that “giving more resources to women entrepreneurs by offering them tailor-made commercial and financial solutions in addition to capacity building is a way for us to actively contribute to the economic and social development of Senegal”.