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IWD: Ecobank celebrates women-owned businesses to mark International Women’s Day

Ecobank Ghana has organised a forum for women-owned businesses to mark the 2024 International Women’s Day.

The event, dubbed ‘Ecobank Ellevate Client Appreciation Day’ aimed to celebrate the remarkable achievements of women-owned and women-led businesses.

Addressing the media on behalf of the Managing Director of Ecobank Ghana, Mrs Abena Osei-Poku, Madam Charlotte Amanquah, Regional Head, Anglophone West Africa Commercial Banking, said the resilience, creativity and unwavering commitment of women had helped in transforming families, communities, and economies.

She said these women-owned and women-led businesses had paved the way for a more equitable future for all without regard to gender, the world over.

Touching on the theme: ‘Investing in women-focused businesses to accelerate progress’ Madam Amanquah noted the need to understand the true potential of women and the societal impact, hence, investing in women-focused businesses.

‘The benefits of investing in women cannot be overemphasised, as it often
has a multiplier effect, impacting positively on humanity. Women, generally, have a central role in social dynamics, with the ability to identify and implement effective solutions to societal challenges and serving as the key source of social cohesion’, she said.

She again said that aside from the fact that women who are in power have fewer conflicts, less violence and are more harmonious, a lot of attention and promotions should be given to women in businesses since they constitute 46.4 per cent of businesses in the country.

She, however, expressed concerns about gender discrimination, limited access to capital, lack of support networks and other social and self-limiting factors hindering the growth of women-owned and women-led businesses across sub-Saharan Africa.

‘Notwithstanding these daunting challenges, you, our guests, who are among our top women-focused business clients, have shattered glass ceilings, defied norms, and built thriving businesses’, she said.

Commenting on the theme for the 2024 Inte
rnational Women’s Day: ‘A Better Way to Accelerate Inclusion’, Madam Amanquah said Ecobank taking inclusivity seriously had internally equipped, supported and encouraged its female employees to rise along their career paths into senior management positions.

She said for their female customers, the bank acknowledged the effect of the disparities on accelerating the progress of women-focused businesses and, therefore has a solution called the Ellevate Programme packaged specifically to promote the interest of women-owned and women-led enterprises.

She mentioned that the Ellevate Programme has been created to help identify and eliminate the key challenges faced by women-focused businesses which often include inadequate collateral, high cost of borrowing, inadequate bookkeeping and or financial records.

‘We ensure effective financial inclusion by creating, tailoring and making accessible simple financial products and services to women entrepreneurs. These usually include credit, savings, investments and insura
nce,’ she explained.

She also said the bank provided networking and mentorship opportunities by creating platforms to connect women entrepreneurs and enable them to share experiences, which help them to build valuable connections and access to wider markets.

She, however, said that the Ecobank business forum was designed to interact, connect and have breakfast with its female customers to celebrate International Women’s Day.

Source: Ghana News Agency