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Ecobank shines at DBN awards, bags three laurels

by Akeem Adeyemi
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Ecobank shines at DBN awards, bags three laurels

Ecobank Nigeria won three prominent awards signifying its support for Micro, Small and Medium-scale Enterprises in Nigeria.

It won the awards at the 2023 Development Bank of Nigeria Annual Service Ambassador Awards ceremony.

The Bank, at the ceremony in Lagos, bagged the Platinum Service Ambassador, Bank with the highest impact on women issues, and bank with the highest impact on MSMEs accessing credit for the first time.

The DBN Ambassadors Programme was designed to increase the sense of ownership among participating financial institutions, build capacity, increase on-lending to MSMEs and ultimately deepen financial inclusion in Nigeria.

Ecobank is a participating financial institution in partnership with DBN to provide credit facilities, credit guarantee and technical support to MSMEs.

Receiving the awards at the event, Deputy Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Carol Oyedeji, said this was a testament to the bank’s commitment to supporting and empowering women-owned businesses and assisting small businesses to access loans conveniently at cheaper interest rates for the development of the overall MSME subsector.

Ecobank had the highest volume and value of transactions in these award categories

Oyedeji reiterated that Ecobank remains a women-friendly bank with many initiatives and innovative products targeted at empowering and sustaining female entrepreneurs in Africa such as Ellevate and Ecobank Female Entrepreneurs Initiative, which are designed to empower and support female entrepreneurs.

She noted that Ecobank recently signed a $200 million risk-sharing agreement with African Guarantee Fund, a specialised pan-African guarantee provider.

She said it is aimed at catalyzing economic growth and supporting entrepreneurial ventures, including women-owned SMEs on the continent.

She added: “Through this partnership, both organizations are taking bold steps to enhance green financing and gender financing.

“It would eliminate the rigorous and restrictive requirements for collateral, particularly hindering women-focused businesses’ access to credit.

“We have both financial and social empowerment initiatives for female entrepreneurs because we recognise women as the bedrock of most families and entrepreneurship in the society.

“We aim to eliminate the rigorous and restrictive requirements for collateral, hindering access to credit.”

In his welcome address, Managing Director, DBN, Tony Okpanachi, saluted the awardees, stating that their collaboration and commitment is impacting positively on the sustainable growth of the MSME sub-sector of the economy.

According to Okpanachi: “Your unwavering commitment to forging a lasting impact on the MSMEs through our collaboration is a testament to your dedication to fueling sustainable growth.

“The true essence of the DBN awards shines through a celebration of sustainable triumph, where today’s aspirations evolve into tomorrow’s achievements.”

He explained that the DBN leverages its partnership with Participating Financial Institutions to provide relatively cheaper loans as well as capacity building initiatives to small businesses.

The Development Bank of Nigeria was conceived by the Federal Government of Nigeria in collaboration with global development partners to address the major financing challenges facing Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises in Nigeria.

DBN’s objective is to alleviate financing constraints faced by MSMEs and small Corporates in Nigeria through the provision of financing and partial credit guarantees to eligible financial intermediaries on a market-conforming and fully financially sustainable basis.

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