Africa’s best bank for SMEs 2023: Ecobank Transnational
No African lender can match Ecobank Transnational’s reach. The Togo-based financial institution is a worthy winner of this year’s award for Africa’s best bank for small and medium-sized enterprises – the second year in a row it has received the title.
For Ecobank, which serves clients in 33 sub-Saharan Africa markets, SME services are part of its wider commercial banking platform. In the full year 2022, gross loans to commercial banking customers totalled $1.8 billion, up 14% on an annualized basis, with net loans up 24% to $1.7 billion and customer deposits up 13% to $5.4 billion.
Ecobank continued to expand its reach with Ellevate, a platform first unveiled in 2021 that extends financial and non-financial support to women-run, focused and owned African businesses. The award-winning programme onboarded around 50,000 new customers last year, extending loans worth $179 million and drawing in deposits worth $445 million.
“Across our markets, female entrepreneurs can benefit from non-financial support such as leadership programmes, business skills training and networking opportunities,” says Carol Oyedeji, acting group executive commercial banking at Ecobank Group.