The Ecobank Group has partnered with Microsoft, LinkedIn, GitHub and Ecobank Academy to provide training to SMEs across sub-Saharan Africa. The training is aimed at providing SMEs with digital skills and knowledge to succeed in today’s digital world.

Since the onset of and the subsequent economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, SMEs have been severely hit by lockdowns and disruptions to supply chains, plummeting sales, lost revenue and operational challenges.

In response to feedback from customers, Ecobank is helping business owners close the digital skills gap within their chosen fields and improve the digital capabilities of their employees.

Commenting on the partnership with Microsoft, Josephine Anan-Ankomah, Group Executive, Commercial Banking for the Ecobank Group said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has turbocharged the shift towards digital. It is essential that businesses adapt so that they are able to compete effectively in today’s rapidly changing landscape. Ecobank’s Commercial Banking is committed to supporting SMEs across our pan-African footprint.”

SMEs have been invited to register for the upcoming webinar taking place on Monday July 26. The Global Skilling initiative program is available on an online portal where SMEs can register, and start their learning journey for any of the 10 in-demand skill sets. Applicants can complete the virtual program at their own pace, and at times that work best for them. The program will run until 31st December, 2021.

Ibrahim Youssry, Regional General Manager, Middle East and Africa – Multi market region at Microsoft said, “We are committed to building digital talent pipelines to support the workforce of the future, and our Global Skilling Initiative is an important part of this process. But beyond the future workforce, digital talent will also support more local innovation, as developers and entrepreneurs are empowered to create locally relevant solutions that best address the challenges and needs of African countries.”

Other support initiatives for SMEs include the following.

  • The Ecobank Marketplace eCommerce solution for businesses to grow their sales on digital marketplaces.
  • The Ellevate programme to provide women-led/owned/focused businesses with loans, cash management solutions, training and mentoring opportunities.