(Ecofin Agency) - Lomé-based Ecobank announced a new financing initiative targeting companies led by women on the continent. The program will provide financial solutions and value-added services to women-led businesses in the 33 African countries where the banking group operates.
The initiative will enable targeted businesses "to improve their cash management, obtain loans at favorable interest rates and value-added services such as training and networking opportunities," said Josephine Anan-Ankomah, Executive Director of commercial banking at Ecobank.
The banking group founded in 1985 in Togo highlights the fact that SMEs account for 90% of businesses in Africa, and African women own about 1/3 of the SMEs registered on the continent. In addition, one in four women in Africa starts or runs a business.
In addition to Ecobank, several other institutions have announced initiatives to finance women entrepreneurs. Earlier this year, the International Finance Corporation launched a new program to support women entrepreneurs in emerging countries.