Dakar, March 17 (APS) – The “Ellever” program, an initiative of the Ecobank group aimed at promoting the empowerment and entrepreneurship of women, will benefit from a loan of 1 billion CFA francs, we learned this Thursday from the Pan-African banking institution .
In this context, the Ecobank group signed, on the same day, in Dakar, a partnership agreement with the Sephis Foundation, which works to promote female leadership and entrepreneurship.
This partnership concerns the implementation of the “Ellever by Ecobank” program, aimed at “enabling women to realize their potential by offering them support, thanks to personalized financial solutions and value-added services”, according to the Pan-African banking institution.
This program launched in 2021 in 33 branches of the Ecobank group has already “granted $ 100 million to female entrepreneurs and women-led businesses,” said Assiétou Thiam Diakhaté, commercial director of Ecobank, during the signing ceremony of the partnership. to the Sephis Foundation.
According to Diakhaté, “Africa has the highest number of female entrepreneurs, 1 in 4”, even though the continent is characterized by “a funding gap of almost 42 billion dollars”.
Through the partnership signed with the Sephis Foundation, which works for the education and training of young people, especially young women in leadership, Ecobank wants to contribute to solutions to this situation, according to its commercial director.
He reveals that Senegal is the second country after Ivory Coast to benefit from the support of the Sephis Foundation.
“This support, in addition to being financial, will also be technical with the establishment of professional training”, added Ms Diakhaté, noting that this partnership aims to provide “tailor-made support with products adapted in terms of cash management, digital solutions, products, credits and training “.
The Sephis Foundation has already supported 20,000 beneficiaries through 12 of its representations around the world, said the chairman of its board of directors, Sephora Kodjo-Kouassi.
“Sephis was born in 2009, out of a desire to improve the position of women in the professional sector and to promote the women’s agenda by offering equal and rewarding opportunities to women,” said Ms. Kodjo-Kouassi.
The Sephis Foundation’s vision is to support women “in their professional, social and economic evolution and development, so that they unfold their full potential for the development of the continent,” she continued.
One of her projects is to support the growth of SMEs managed by African women, “to make them more visible, to give them access to new markets, to financing opportunities, to make them champions within the private sector”. .
“Training is one of the important pillars in the construction of our continent and those who understand this too are our partners who accompany us in this project”, concluded the president of the board of directors of the Sephis Foundation.