Ecobank Cameroon, a part of the leading pan-African group Ecobank, has officially launched 'Ellevate', its flagship women's programme, to stimulate and support women-led and women-oriented businesses by providing financial and value-added solutions that will enable their businesses to reach their full potential and success.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) account for about 90% of all businesses in Africa and women own about a third of all registered African SMEs. Today, one-in-four women in Africa (25.9%) start or manage a business. However, women have not enjoyed equal access to high quality, demand driven financial services and it is estimated that women-owned SMEs face a US$42 billion financing gap, making lack of access to financing a common constraint to their business growth.

Mrs. Gwendoline Abunaw, Managing Director of Ecobank Cameroon, said: “The growth of women-led and women-focused businesses have been long hampered by a range of impediments, including access to finance. We have especially designed Ellevate to meet the needs of women entrepreneurs through the provision of comprehensive, customised and tailormade solutions which include favourable lending rates, smart cash management enablement and a suite of value-added services such as leadership training, mentoring and networking opportunities. Ecobank Commercial Banking is allocating a minimum of 10% of its loan portfolio to women’s businesses.

“Women-led businesses are a largely underserved market and Ecobank Cameroon is determined to help them reach their potential, grasp business opportunities and become both scalable and sustainable. This will enable them to play a major role in Africa’s social and economic development, in addition to creating hundreds of thousands of jobs needed by this and future generations of Cameroonians.”

The official launch of the ‘Ellevate’ by Ecobank  Cameroon took place on March 30th, 2021 in Douala , in the presence of several prominent women leaders and entrepreneurs of all sizes and from various sectors of the economy (Energy, Agriculture, Distribution, Photography, Events, Catering, Cultural Promotion, Communication, Education, Fashion & Beauty). It was also a moment of exchange with a panel of discussion made up of inspiring women whose success radiates nationally and internationally such as Mrs. Reine MBANG ESSOBMADJE, Vice President of GICAM, moderator of the debate; Mrs. Jacqueline Dongmo - CEO of the Gracedom Invest Group; Mrs. Jacky Dioh Eko - Founder of Dewey International School of Applied Sciences; Mrs. Horore Bell Bebga - Founder of the African Women in Tech Start-ups Association and the guest of honour: Mrs Kate Fotso - CEO of Telcar Cocoa LTD.

A major highlight of the launch was the pledged support of Mrs. Biloa Mballa, National President of the Association of Small Traders (Buyam-Sellam) of Cameroon towards this initiative of the Pan-African Bank.

For further information about Ellevate, please visit

About Ecobank Cameroon
Ecobank Cameroon is an affiliate of Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI), the pan-African financial conglomerate headquartered in Lomé, Togo, which operates in 33 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Ecobank Group also has a banking license in France and representative offices in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Johannesburg, South Africa; Beijing, China; London, the UK and Dubai, the United Arab Emirates. The Group offers a full suite of banking products, services and solutions including bank and deposit accounts, loans, cash management, advisory, trade, securities, wealth and asset management. ETI is listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchanges in Lagos, the Ghana Stock Exchange in Accra, and the Bourse Régionale des Valeurs Mobilières in Abidjan. For further information please visit

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