Libreville, Gabon, November 19,
2013—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today launched its SME
Toolkit in Gabon, increasing its support for entrepreneurs and small and
medium sized businesses that help grow the economy and create jobs in the
IFC’s SME Toolkit is a product that
consists of software, business forms, articles and training designed to
leverage information and communication technologies to provide critical
information, tools, and training to SMEs in emerging markets.
IFC has established a partnership with
the Banque Gabonaise de Développement to implement the SME Toolkit program.
Under the partnership agreement, BGD will use IFC’s SME Toolkit services
to improve its support to SME development, contributing to economic diversification,
job creation and economic growth in Gabon.
Roger Owono Mba, General Manager of
BGD, said: “BGD’s collaboration with IFC will help us access the SME
Toolkit product, which will support the Gabonese private sector to better
structure, expand businesses, and help grow the economy and jobs in the
Jean Philippe Prosper, IFC Vice President
for Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, said: “IFC’s
partnership with BGD furthers our commitment to contribute to economic
development in Gabon. The launch of SME Toolkit in Gabon demonstrates IFC’s
strategy to supporting private sector growth in the country.”
The SME Toolkit Gabon is a join IFC/World
Bank project. Fifteen SME Toolkit trainers from BGD staff have already
been trained to deliver SME Toolkit training in Gabon. Over the next two
years, BGD, with IFC’s help, will train an estimated 500 SMEs across the
country, equipping them to access loans, grow their businesses and create
new jobs. BGD expects to grow its SME portfolio from the current 19 percent
to 50 percent of an estimated 3,000 SMEs in Gabon. Growth of SMEs will
contribute positively to creating employment opportunities for the estimated
10,000 to 15,000 young people entering the Gabonese labor market each year.
The SME Toolkit partners include
banks and corporations, NGOs, private companies, government agencies and
training firms. The SME Toolkit has already helped thousands of entrepreneurs
in emerging markets in Africa and around the world improve their skills
and develop their businesses. The website receives over five million unique
visitors a year.
IFC’s strategy in Gabon includes
supporting enhanced business regulations to improve the investment
climate, and promoting the development of SMEs through partnerships with
local intermediary institutions.
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