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IFC’s Business Edge Program Provides Training to the Contestants of the Middle East Broadcasting Corporation’s Show “The Investor”


In Washington:
Corrie Shanahan
Phone: +(202) 473 2258
Email: cshanahan@ifc.org
 
In Cairo:
Michel Botzung
Phone: + 202 461 9140/50
Fax: + 202 461 9130/60  
Email: mbotzung@ifc.org

In UAE:
Raihana Rabbany
Phone: + 9714 360 1021
Fax: +9714 360 1010
Email: rrabbany@ifc.org


Dubai, April 6, 2006— The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank, is teaming up with the Middle East Broadcasting Center on their prime time business reality program, “The Investor” in order to promote entrepreneurship in the Middle East. IFC is using Business Edge, the brand name for its international range of management training products and services, in order to strengthen the business content of the show. IFC recently provided the contestants with an intensive Business Edge training workshop, which took place at the Al Hamra Fort Hotel and Beach Resort in Ras Al Khaimah on April 2-6, 2006.

The objective of the Business Edge training was to provide the contestants of the show with the knowledge and skills they need to become successful entrepreneurs. Based on the feedback from the Business Edge advisors, who monitored the performance of the contestants throughout the duration of the show, the training featured a combination of classroom presentations, case-studies, and team-building exercises in the curriculum areas of “Business plan and marketing concepts” and “Personal productivity and team-building skills.”

Azmat Taufique, IFC's Senior Regional Manager, said, “Job creation is crucial for economic development in the MENA region. Some 60 percent of the region's population is below the age of 25, and unemployment in this group is high. An important component of IFC's regional strategy is to promote entrepreneurship and assist in creating meaningful jobs for this target group. IFC is addressing this issue by creating jobs through direct investments in commercially viable projects, and by building a more skilful workforce through targeted management training tools, such as Business Edge."

Salwa Soueid, Executive Producer of “The Investor,” commented, “The Business Edge program has improved “The Investor” contestants’ skill sets and has inspired them to   perform at their highest level. The Business Edge material is invaluable, as it offers the contestants an opportunity to sharpen their game plan and execute tasks with confidence.”

MBC is the leading free-to-air pan-Arab news and entertainment broadcaster, offering quality family entertainment programming to more than 130 million Arabic speaking people around the world, and “The Investor” is MBC’s largest production to date..The show, which lasts for 13 consecutive weeks, consists of business-related tasks, that are assigned to 13 family pairs of aspiring entrepreneurs, from across the Arab world, vying to win up to US$500,000 in seed financing to start up their business ventures.  IFC has provided three Business Edge trainers (“The Advisors”) for the duration of the filming of the show, and has offered an intensive week of  Business Edge training to the contestants

Business Edge is a management training program for small and medium enterprises that has been adapted for the Middle East and North Africa region.  It is a comprehensive training program that includes 36 management courses on five different topics: marketing, human resources, production and operations, finance and accounting, and productivity skills.  The program also includes delivery methodology (such as training of trainers and trainer manuals) and a technical assistance component. The program is delivered by private training institutes that enter into agreement with IFC and adopt Business Edge as part of their business model and offer it to local businesses. IFC accredits these institutions, training their trainers and providing hands-on support as they deliver the program. Business Edge is available in seven countries in the region (Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Yemen, Oman, Palestine, and the United Arabic Emirates). For more information, visit www.businessedge-me.com.

The International Finance Corporation is the private sector arm of the World Bank Group and is headquartered in Washington, D.C.  IFC coordinates its activities with the other institutions of the World Bank Group but is legally and financially independent.  Its 178 member countries provide its share capital and collectively determine its policies.

The mission of IFC is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing and transition countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve people’s lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses. From its founding in 1956 through FY05, IFC has committed more than $49 billion of its own funds and arranged $24 billion in syndications for 3,319 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio as of FY05 was $19.3 billion for its own account and $5.3 billion held for participants in loan syndications.  For more information, visit www.ifc.org.