Ecobank Senegal proceeded, Thursday, September 9, to the launch of its program “Ellever”. This pan-African initiative aims to support companies headed by women, or with a strong female presence on the board of directors.
Focused on women-owned, female-led businesses that employ significant numbers of women, or produce goods and services for women, Ellever is part of the drive to address the multiple challenges facing women entrepreneurs.
As part of this program intended to elevate femininity in entrepreneurship, women businesses will benefit, it is said, from services with high added value.
“This program involves much lighter financial support in terms of the guarantee mechanism, at much lower rates,” says Sahid Yallou, Managing Director of Ecobank Senegal. And to add: “beyond financial support, Ellever provides a non-financial support component, focused on training, coaching, standardization, formalization, and market access, through digital tools, networking and another tool available to Ecobank to facilitate market access for women ”.
“Ellever is an invaluable contribution to fundraising for women. Female entrepreneurs face countless constraints, most of which revolve around lack of funding, and social barriers. This commitment by Ecobank to meet these challenges is a very important step, especially since 30% of businesses in Senegal are owned by women, ”said Samba Ndao, secretary of the Senegalese Ministry of Commerce and SMEs, who presided over the ceremony. launch held in the presence of an audience of women’s organizations, administrative officials and financial players.
With the roadmap of raising the level of women’s businesses, the support Ellever offers will be based on the size and needs of the business. An initiative already welcomed by the beneficiaries.
“In Senegal, 30% of SMEs are owned by women, but only 3% of financial resources can be mobilized by women. It was therefore important to set up an initiative specifically aimed at women, allowing them to leave the subsistence business, and create real champions in their sector of activity with truly prosperous businesses ”, indicates Dédé Ba Gueye, director of Technologie Service, a women-owned SME.
According to the Ministry of Commerce and SMEs, this new program launched by the Pan-African bank is in addition to the initiatives already initiated by the State of Senegal, in order to allow women to carry out their activities. Among other things, access to the FRA code, for the authorization of manufacture and sale, facilitation of the bar code, in order to allow the sale of products in supermarkets.