Ecobank Ellevate has partnered with Ananse Africa and the MasterCard Foundation to train fashion entrepreneurs and creatives in Nigeria.

Ecobank Ellevate is a proprietary service offering designed for women-owned, women-managed businesses and those with a high percentage of women on the board of directors or employees, as well as companies that make products for women.

Ecobank Nigeria’s head of consumer banking, Korede Demola-Adeniyi, in her welcome speech at the hybrid event which took place at the Ecobank Pan Africa Center (EPAC) in Lagos on Thursday, said the bank’s support is in line with its policy of empowering and exposing local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to the global market.

“This is an impact-driven, innovative program designed to equip women fashion entrepreneurs with valuable business skills to be better empowered and equip them with further skills in their chosen field of fashion. For us as a bank, we are delighted to partner with Ananse and the Mastercard Foundation to put on this training program. It aligns with our focus on enabling SMEs to grow their businesses to compete in the global marketplace. Remember, we are also using Adire as a key driver in the fashion industry. Last year we brought Adire’s technology to the global arena; we partnered with the First Lady of Ogun State through the Ajose Foundation Adire Market Week, which attracted more than 1,000 local and foreign exhibitors; We hosted a successful Lagos Adire Experience and also sponsored London African Fashion Week 2022 with an Adire pavilion.” she stated.

Demola-Adeniyi introduced participants to the bank’s various digital products, services and offerings, such as “Ecobank Mobile app, Ecobank Online, Ecobank Omnilite, EcobankPay, Ellevate, a relationship package to serve women-owned and led businesses and plus 60,000 bank branches of Ecobank Xpress Point agencies spread throughout the country, among others”.

Earlier, Ananse Africa founder/CEO Sam Mensah said that the training focusing on e-commerce and digital marketing is aimed at women and youth in fashion and creative MSMEs who want to start operating online or improve their current online presence, adding that, participants will receive ongoing hands-on support to set up or improve their online stores for 3 months after the session.

“We intend to bring the training to four other African countries, including Senegal, Kenya, Ghana and the Ivory Coast in the coming months. There are many economic opportunities for youth and women across Africa in the fashion business. Our technology solution solves key problems behind the market challenges that prevent African fashion designers and creatives from being commercially successful and growing their businesses.”

He listed the benefits to include, digital PoS for better inventory management, local and international payments, marketing exposure, global logistics to increase sales, and hassle-free global e-commerce, among others. Ananse Africa is an e-commerce platform that is equipping African fashion designers and creatives for local and international commerce.