Antananarivo, Madagascar, April 22,
2010—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, in partnership with Zain,
today increased its support for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs)
in Madagascar by operationally launching a free online training program
that will help businessmen and women in the country develop new skills.
Madagascar entrepreneurs can now benefit,free
of any charge from IFC’s SME Toolkit, an online, interactive program that
uses the latest communication technologies to help smaller businesses learn
sustainable management practices. The SME Toolkit was developed in partnership
The Madagascar SME Solutions Center,
the first of its kind in Madagascar, offers since 2005 a complete package
of business incubation facilities including the SME Toolkit, access to
business information and helps smaller businesses access finance.
Aida Der Hovanessian, IFC Country Manager
in Madagascar said, “We are pleased, together with Zain, to bring the
SME Toolkit to the Madagascar market to support the growth of smaller businesses
in the country. Supporting smaller businesses is a major focus of IFC’s
work in Africa and a stronger small business sector in Madagascar will
help create employment and generate growth in the country.”
In partnership with Zain, who will provide
local content, these new products and services will reach a greater number
of people as they will be also accessible via mobile phone and CD-ROM.
This initiative will. support the growth of smaller businesses in
Madagascar with training and tools to bridge entrepreneurship development
The expansion of the SME Toolkit will
be supported by the partnership between Zain and a network of local training
firms and institutions including CITE, ISCAM, INSCAE, UNICECAM, lCCI Fianarantsoa/BCI,
’ISTT Ampasapito, and CGA Analamanga,as well as with local financial
institutions and the local SMEs. At longer term this partnership will enhance
the business environment that Zain would like to develop and increase access
to finance and business skills to the Malagasy SMEs.
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 capital for private enterprise,
and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments.
Our new investments totaled $14.5 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel
capital into developing countries during the financial crisis. For more
information, visit www.ifc.org.
About SME Toolkitsm
The SME Toolkit was launched in 2002
by IFC. In Sub-Saharan Africa, the Toolkit network covers Benin,
Kenya, Rwanda, Madagascar, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, and Zambia.
The sites enable users to search and browse content, list their businesses,
and create Web pages in a searchable business directory. Users are also
able to network by participating in multilingual community forums on key
business management topics. The SME Toolkit content can also be distributed
on CD-ROM and mobile phones. In 2006, IFC partnered with IBM to strengthen
and expand the Toolkit’s capabilities.
Globally, to-date the SME Toolkit is available through 31 Web sites and
in over 17 languages throughout the developing world. In many of these
markets there are no other comparable on-line support resources for small
businesses in the local language. The Toolkit receives over 4.5 million
unique visitors per year. For more information, visit www.smetoolkit.org.
For more information about IBM, visit