Monrovia — Ecobank Liberia a subsidiary of the Ecobank Group has launched a women-focused initiative to help empower women-owned and women-focused businesses in Liberia.
The Ellevate program which is designed for businesses owned by women, managed by women, businesses with a high percentage of female board members or employees, and companies that manufacture products for women will help them reach their full potential.
Speaking during the launch over the weekend at its Head Office branch, Sinkor, the Managing Director of Ecobank Liberia, Mr. George Mensah – Asante stressed the importance of women contribution to the economic growth of the country. "Women constitute roughly half of the population in Africa, including Liberia. SMEs account for up to 90% of all businesses in Africa and women own about a third of all registered African SMEs. 1 in 4 of the adult female population in Africa starts or manages a business, making the African continent one of the highest in terms of women entrepreneurs across the world. In Liberia, 53% of the women own and run their own business. It is important, therefore to have a programme designed to improving female businesses in our country".
Mr. Mensah – Asante said the women-led economy represents a largely untapped market contributing to the economic development and financial integration of the continent, which according to him, will be further strengthened by Ecobank’s investment in women.
He noted that Ecobank recognizes the contribution women are making to the socio – economic development of Africa and must commend and support them appropriately. "We are pleased, through our Ellevate programme, to offer women in this country an opportunity to take their rightful place in the economic development of Liberia. We will work with women – focused and women – owned businesses to enhance their potentials and create inclusive business opportunities".
He further stated that in developing Ellevate the bank took into consideration the needs of women; what women required from their bankers and successfully came up with practical solutions that will help bridge identified gaps. These businesses will benefit from smarter cash management solutions, favorable lending rates and value-added services such as leadership training and networking opportunities.
Serving as Guest Speaker, the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Silver Incorporated, Madam Ruth Ibrahim called on female business owners to be consistent in running their respective businesses. "Success is a proof of consistency, accountability, and quality delivery of goods and services that your business offers. […]