A startup finance program organized by the Ecobank Group and the African Union Development Agency New Partnership for Africa’s Development produced more than 200 graduates (AUDA-NEPAD)
More than 200 graduates of the inaugural Ecobank MSME Training for Financing Programme attended a virtual graduation ceremony hosted by the pan-African bank and the AUDA-NEPAD recently.
Nigeria, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Niger, Rwanda, and Togo were among the eight nations participating in the MSME Academy’s pilot phase.
The MSME Academy is part of AUDA-transformational NEPAD’s “100,000 MSMEs” program, a continental reaction to COVID-19, which was launched in 2020 by the Ecobank Group and AUDA-NEPAD in the midst of the COVID-19 epidemic. The academy offers coaching, mentoring, and business skills training to entrepreneurs, owners, and managers of startups.
“We had no hesitation in supporting AUDA-‘100,000 NEPAD’s MSMEs’ initiative,” stated Ade Ayeyemi, Chief Executive Officer, Ecobank Group, at the graduation event. The framework we developed together is based on three important pillars: access to capabilities, access to funding, and access to markets, all of which are critical for MSMEs to build resilience in such exceptional times. The graduation ceremony marks yet another step forward in our mission to support SMEs and help them grow into tomorrow’s larger enterprises. My heartfelt congrats to the 2021 MSME Training for Financing class. This is the start of your enterprises’ healthy success, and Ecobank is here to help you grow into a large business owner on our continent.”
“This graduation comes at an opportune time, after the first anniversary of the 100,000 MSMEs Initiative,” said Ibrahim Mayaki, Chief Executive of AUDA-NEPAD. The celebration builds on other significant achievements to date, such as the initiative’s launch in 13 member states, which reached more than three million participants, largely micro businesses, who learnt about the MSME Academy platform’s potential.”
Around 3,000 MSMEs applied for the Ecobank Financing program’s MSME training, with 850 being selected in the eight trial nations.