• Thursday, July 25, 2024
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Ecobank plans to increase support to SMEs

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Ecobank Nigeria has restated its commitment to be the leading Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) friendly and supporting bank in the country.

Speaking at a public forum in Lagos recently, head, SME and Value Chain Banking, Ecobank Nigeria, Sunkanmi Olowo, said the various initiatives recently embarked upon by the bank are targeted at increasing funding and support to the SME sub-sector, stressing that, Ecobank having recognized SMEs as the engine room of the nation’s economic growth, would continue to step up support to the sub-sector.

Among various initiatives the bank had embarked on recently include: launching of SME Club, unveiling e-commerce online platform, MyMall, and training and providing financial support to some SMEs under the Ecobank New Venture Initiative’ (ENVI), among others.

The Ecobank SME Club aims to provide preferential business Support and tailored products and services to its teeming customers across the country. The SME Club serves as a platform for adding value to SMEs through information mining, networking and capacity building.

According to Sunkanmi, “The benefits of SME Club to customers are numerous. It offers business/capacity development and technical assistance; provides business, accounting, tax, legal and other services and platforms; B2B linkage across Africa; access to market information, economic updates, exchange rate information; international markets and finance; online marketing/sales (24/7); active support from government backed organisations and quarterly working sessions led by experts.”

Ecobank MyMall Nigeria is an online trading platform essentially for SME operators to sell and market their goods and services. The online marketplace, according to the bank, is targeted at driving the growth of the SME sub sector in Nigeria.

He explained that MyMall is indicative of the already successful Ecobank SME club which had significantly impacted a number of SMEs by providing expert guidance and tools to properly establish and succeed at running an SME.

Also, the bank is recently trained and extended financial grants worth millions of naira to five budding SMEs operators in the country.

The ENVI, an innovative business training education programme, is collaboration between Ecobank SME Club and the Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) of the Pan Atlantic University. Ecobank has won several awards for its support to the development of the SME sub-sector.