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IFC, Equity Bank Training Small Business Owners in South Sudan, Helping Grow Economy


In Juba
Deborah Nyuon
+211955293775
DNyuon@IFC.org


Juba, South Sudan, November 18, 2013 -- IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, said today it has now trained more than 100 businessmen and women in South Sudan with its Business Edge training program, helping them gain the managerial skills they need to grow their businesses, run them more efficiently, and contribute to wider economic growth.

IFC recently trained another 54 South Sudanese entrepreneurs who are clients of Equity Bank South Sudan in areas including accounting and finance, marketing, and productivity. IFC and Equity Bank are planning to extend the training sessions beyond Juba to reach entrepreneurs in South Sudan’s smaller cities and rural areas.

Paul Gitahi, Equity Bank South Sudan Managing Director, said, “We want to develop a vibrant and competitive local business community in South Sudan that provides quality services and runs sustainable and professional enterprises. This training initiative, in partnership with IFC, is a step in that direction, and our aim is to extend the training to thousands more entrepreneurs in Juba, and across the country.”

IFC Director for East and Southern Africa, Oumar Seydi, said, “IFC is committed to helping small business owners in South Sudan improve their management skills so they can strengthen their operations and, ultimately, access the financing and markets they need to grow. Supporting smaller businesses is part of IFC’s broader strategy to help South Sudan build a strong and a diverse private sector.”

Through Business Edge, an interactive learning product, IFC has already helped more than 100,000 entrepreneurs in emerging markets around the world improve their skills and profitability. During training sessions in Juba, participants worked with Equity Bank staff to understand the lending cycle and the general requirements for accessing loans and other services from commercial banks.

As part of its support for South Sudan, IFC has helped establish a business registry in the country that allows businesses to more easily formalize, and has supported reforms have cut the time it takes to establish a business to only about two weeks.

South Sudan is also one of nine countries supported by IFC’s Conflict Affected States in Africa Initiative (CASA), which is helping countries recovering from conflict strengthen their private sectors, create jobs, and attract investment.

Equity Bank Group has a presence in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, and South Sudan with a network of over 180 branches across the region, and a total of 8 million customers. IFC and Equity Bank South Sudan plan to train another fifty small business owners in the country in the coming months.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private enterprises in more than 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity. In FY13, our investments climbed to an all-time high of nearly $25 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit www.ifc.org


About Business EdgeTM
IFC Sustainable Business Advisory Services is supporting the growth of small and medium enterprises. Working with partners in Africa, IFC has helped thousands of entrepreneurs access the finance and skills they need to realize their potential. Business Edge™ is a face-to-face IFC training system that helps SMEs more easily access markets by strengthening their management capacity. The training can be customized for specific countries and regions in Africa. For more information, including a full list of our corporate partners and accredited training firms, visit www.businessedge-africa.com.

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