SME.NG’s e-market platform is set to go live with the aim to provide access to finance, wider market access, technical and business support to local female entrepreneurs. The new platform which was unveiled on the 25th of March 2021 was introduced as a solution to the impact of COVID-19 on Nigerian female-owned businesses.
Speaking on the purpose of the Ebi Market Platform during its unveiling, the Managing Director, SME.NG, Ms. Thelma Ekiyor, stated.
“With Nigeria’s population increasing exponentially coupled with the global pandemic, economic opportunities are now limited and overstretched especially for the female entrepreneurs. The need to encourage, give access to finance and support these female entrepreneurs cannot be overemphasized. SME.NG, through this platform, aims to provide Nigerian Female Entrepreneurs with the opportunity to grow their businesses through financial services, trading opportunities, advisory services, mentorship and networking and so much more.
By providing female entrepreneurs with entrepreneurial opportunities to create wealth and support their livelihood, the Ebi Marketplace platform will help keep people in business, generate jobs and income”, She continued.
Deemed ‘Ebi Marketplace’, the platform is a one stop shop solution for Nigerian Female Entrepreneurs. It is an all-inclusive platform that will democratize access to finance, financial inclusion and e-commerce for women entrepreneurs. The Ebi Marketplace will improve access to finance (grants, loans and investments), access to wider markets, access to technical and business support, and access to a job portal connecting female entrepreneurs to suitable staff. The platform will further allow entrepreneurs to connect and partner with other female entrepreneurs across the country, thus helping them transform their economies to become more independent, equitable, and sustainable.
The Ebi Marketplace platform will be Nigeria’s first all-women’s e-market platform which is safe and user-friendly. The platform will also feature a Nigerian women’s SME directory with sector and location tags to expand the reach of products and services across Nigeria and beyond. The Ebi Marketplace will be all-inclusive and will be a one-stop-shop information portal of opportunities for female entrepreneurs. The platform will provide female entrepreneurs and their customers with a unique and seamless online trading and shopping experience. It also includes features that will help drive sales and boost revenues for women-owned businesses, as well as provide other resources that will enable female-owned businesses to thrive.
Commenting on Bank of Industry’s partnership with SME.NG, the Head of Gender Business, Bank of Industry, Mrs. Adebisi Ajayi, stated.
“SME.NG e-market platform, Ebi Marketplace is important to support women Entrepreneurs as they recover from COVID-19 pandemic. Digitization is central to boost resiliency”.
To join the Ebi Marketplace Platform, interested female entrepreneurs can register to be vendors on www.ebimarketplace.com. Women in cooperatives and associations are also encouraged to register on the platform. The Ebi marketplace will officially go live on the 1st of August and the App will be available for download on Play Store and Apple Store. Successful sign-ups would officially become vendors on the platform and can access all the benefits on the Ebi Marketplace Platform.
SME.NG was established to bridge the gaps in women’s access to finance through “gender lens investing”. It is an impact investment platform that invests in Nigerian SMEs to realize measurable environmental, social, and financial returns. The platform’s approach to SME financing is through a “blended financing” model, which leverages private capital, public sector investments and philanthropic giving. SME.NG has two funds for women and operates an all women accelerator, “She Works Here”.