Lagos, Nigeria, October 9, 2008—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, recently joined forces with the Pan African
University, a leading education provider in Nigeria, to launch a Web site
that provides training for small businesses and access to free information.
The Nigeria SME Toolkit (http://nigeria.smetoolkit.org)
offers interactive tools that support small business owners and managers
in a range of core business areas. These include accounting and finance,
business planning, human resources, legal and insurance, marketing and
sales, operations, and information technology. Small businesses will be
able to access learning resources, get help on implementing sustainable
business practices, and register for workshops with professional trainers.
They can also partner with other businesses by accessing detailed market,
investment, and trade information on more than 60 countries with the strongest
Peter Bamkole, Director of Enterprise
Development Services at the Pan-African University, said, “Since its launch
last month, the Nigeria SME Toolkit has attracted hundreds of visitors.
Our vision is to make it Nigeria’s leading online resource for businesses.”
Solomon Quaynor, IFC Country Manager,
said, “Supporting microenterprises and smaller businesses is a strategic
priority for IFC in Africa. Resources like the SME Toolkit can empower
small enterprises in Nigeria by providing them with the tools they need
Lizabeth Bronder, IFC Chief Program
Manager, added, “The SME Toolkit helps smaller businesses overcome many
challenges that impede growth. Our users around the world confirm that
the toolkit has helped them improve their businesses. We are confident
that users in Nigeria will also benefit from the resources offered by this
Internet usage in Nigeria is high and
continues to grow rapidly. There are nearly 5 million Internet users, representing
about 3 percent of the total population. As Internet penetration increases,
so will access to the SME Toolkit by entrepreneurs. The toolkit can also
run on CD-ROMs to cater for those without reliable Internet connectivity.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group,
creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives.
We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting
private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory
and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments
totaled $16.2 billion in fiscal 2008, a 34 percent increase over the previous
year. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
About Enterprise Development Services
Enterprise Development Services is a
centre within the Pan-African University in Nigeria. It focuses on business
development and provides support services to small and medium enterprises.
Since its launch in January 2003, the center has been working to build
a network of partners who share a common passion for small and medium enterprise
development and growth. For more information, visit http://www.eds.com.ng/.