- The training programme equips business owners and entrepreneurs with the requisite skills on starting a business, how to better manage their enterprise and make informed business decisions
- It also seeks to drive resilience and growth via free, relevant, accessible and credible online educational resources
Ecobank Group, through its Commercial Banking division and supported by the Ecobank Academy, has partnered with Visa to provide micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) across Ecobank’s footprint with access to Visa’s Practical Business Skills educational resource.
The online training forms part of the Ecobank’s MSME Booster series and offers online learning tools for MSMEs seeking growth as they prepare for the new business year.
The course has been specially designed to cater for the needs of both seasoned business owners and startups eager to take their business to the next level. Participants will learn from key modules including financial management, how to promote a business, managing employees, creating a business plan and digitising their business amongst others.
SMEs are at the heart of Africa’s economic growth where they provide up to 80% of the region’s employment and are the force behind a new middle class, fueling demand for new goods and services. The training course is part of Ecobank’s mission to help MSMEs sharpen their business skills and make an immense contribution to the continent’s economic fortunes.
While announcing the partnership, Acting Group Executive, Commercial Banking & Deputy Managing Director Ecobank Nigeria, Carol Oyedeji said: “MSMEs across Africa are collectively critical to the achievement of many of the sustainable development goals and that is why we place great emphasis on their upskilling. We are delighted to partner with Visa on a training programme that will help them understand how to get started, how to manage a business and how to navigate the tough process of building and growing a business.”
“We are excited to continue to collaborate with our partners in sub-Saharan Africa to provide digital financial services and skills that empower micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. The extension of Practical Business Skills through the MSME Booster Series will help to bridge the skills gaps that exist among youth and women and enable them to take full advantage of the digital economy.” said Carl Manlan, Vice President, Inclusive Impact & Sustainability Visa CEMEA.
Other similar initiatives run by Ecobank to support SMEs included the Global Skilling Progamme, a collaboration with Microsoft, LinkedIn and GitHub to upskill and equip SMEs and their employees with digital skills at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The pandemic made business owners more aware of the need to close the digital skills gap within their workplaces and an improved digitally diverse talent pool is essential to a sustainable post-pandemic recovery.