Jane Jelagat, Director Consumer Banking Ecobank Kenya
Jane Jelagat, Director Consumer Banking Ecobank Kenya. [Photo/ Courtesy]

Ecobank Kenya has launched a finance solution programme dubbed Elevate that targets to provide affordable finance solutions to women-owned businesses in Kenya.

Through the program, Ecobank will allocate a minimum of 10 per cent of its loan portfolio to women’s businesses.

Speaking during the launch on Thursday, September 29, Ecobank Kenya’s Director of Consumer Banking Jane Jelagat said the Ellevate program is about offering financial and non-financial solutions that uplift women from one level to another business.

“Ellevate is a financial solution we are giving to women a financial and non-financial solution and non-final to lift up a woman from one level to another. We are setting aside 10 per cent of our banking portfolio to lend and offer solutions to the women in both SMEs and established enterprises,” she said.

Women in Africa represent a largely untapped economic resource, facing many gender inequalities including gender gaps a-in educatįon, health, and financial inclusion.

It is estimated that 25 per cent of women in Africa will start or manage a business, yet women-led or owned businesses face a USD 42 billion financing gap, in addition to other gender-based inequalities.

The bank says it is due to these factors that financial institutions need to come up with viable solutions to address the underserved segments of the economy.

“We understand Africa as Ecobank being in thirty-five markets and we understand women really well. The African woman has been left behind for many reasons and we are offering it to women because their risk is much lower and this has been a niche that has been quiet and unattended to for quite some time,” Jelagat added.

The empowerment program will provide products and services such as discounted financing, smarter cash management and value-added services, including training and mentorship.

Read: Jeremy Awori Lands Top Job At Ecobank Group

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