Ecobank, Africa’s Best Bank for SMEs in 2023

For the 2nd year running, Ecobank, the leading pan-African banking group, has been named Best Bank in Africa for SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises). This was at the prestigious Euromoney Awards for Excellence.

Ecobank had already won this award in 2022. In naming Ecobank this year as Africa’s Best Bank for SMEs, the jury cited Ecobank’s long-standing and unwavering commitment to meeting the needs of SMEs.

Ecobank’s initiatives

Over the past twelve months, Ecobank has launched a number of initiatives in support of SMEs.

These include Ecobank’s Single Market Trading Space, designed to support the African Single Market within the framework of the AfCFTA.

The portal offers information on AfCFTA, access to Ecobank’s full range of trade facilitation products and solutions (including trade finance, advisory, payments and collections) and a marketplace for African products, services and businesses.

There’s also RapidCollect, with which the bank’s corporate customers can receive payments from their customers in their home country and across the Ecobank network of 33 subsidiaries, instantly. The cost is lower than any other cross-border payment solution.

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Ecobank also offers a partnership with Mastercard Farm Pass. This has digitized the agricultural value chain for smallholders, simplifying the process of obtaining a fair price for production and securing payments.

The bank’s other initiative is the Ellever Leadership Program aimed at female-led or female-focused business customers. Modules include emotional intelligence; leading with authenticity; defining strategic leadership; mastering influence and decision-making; and negotiating for results.

Finally, the group offers a Financial Literacy Series to bring the necessary financial skills to SME leaders. The first module in the series, entitled “Preparing SMEs for capital markets”, attracted almost 3,500 registered participants.

Innovations continue

Jeremy Awori, CEO of Ecobank Group, welcomed the award. For him, the award reflects Ecobank’s absolute commitment to supporting African SMEs. He noted that innovations – both financial and non-financial – continue to stimulate the growth and success of these SMEs.

“We aim to be the bank of choice for African SMEs. There’s no doubt that SMEs are the main drivers of Africa’s economic growth, as they create jobs and generate prosperity while eliminating poverty across the continent,” says Awori.

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