Tbilisi, Georgia, March 5, 2015—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, the Entrepreneurship Development Agency
(Enterprise Georgia), and TBC Bank today signed a Memorandum of Understanding
designed to enhance the financial know-how of entrepreneurs, part of efforts
to support smaller businesses and encourage economic growth in Georgia.
IFC will work with both partners to disseminate resources through the SME
Toolkit, an online business portal that provides the owners of small and
medium enterprises (SMEs) with practical advice on how to run their business.
IFC and TBC Bank launched the SME Toolkit in Georgia in 2013. Trainers
from the Entrepreneurship Development Agency (Enterprise Georgia) will
use the toolkit in their work with SMEs, especially in rural and remote
areas of the country, as part of the government’s Produce in Georgia program.
“This cooperation is a clear example of the government’s continued support
to SME development,” said George Tsikolia, CEO of the Entrepreneurship
Development Agency (Enterprise Georgia). “Our efforts aim to ease access
to finance and the business intelligence needed to run a successful business.
We support SMEs in increasing their competitiveness and try to ensure the
long-term solvency of local enterprises.”
Specialized training programs will provide businesses with practical advice
on how to apply for government grants and subsidized loans, while also
offering guidance on how to run a business.
“We are pleased to launch another new project through our online business
portal, benefiting our clients,” said Vakhtang Butskhrikidze, TBC Bank
CEO. “TBC Bank offers educational and development programs for SMEs on
a permanent basis. I am sure this new cooperation with the Entrepreneurship
Development Agency and IFC will contribute to the further development of
the Georgian economy.”
“Our joint efforts serve as a good example of how global knowledge tailored
to the needs of the local market can make a difference,” said Thea Gigiberia,
IFC’s Georgia Country Representative. “This cooperation is part of our
strategy in Georgia to support smaller enterprises and help them create
jobs and reduce poverty.”
The SME Toolkit, an innovation of IFC, developed in partnership with IBM,
provides smaller businesses with tools and educational resources that support
their day-to-day operations from the start-up stage to expansion. This
web platform is available in Georgian at www.tbcbusiness.ge.
The introduction of the SME Toolkit is part of IFC efforts to support the
sector in Europe and Central Asia. The work is funded by the Swiss State
Secretariat for Economic Affairs.
Georgia became an IFC member in 1995. Since then, IFC has invested more
than $810 million in 60 projects across various sectors and supported regional
projects developed in the country. IFC has also implemented a number of
advisory projects focused on the development of the private sector.
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 about 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and
influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity.
In FY14, we provided more than $22 billion in financing to improve lives
in developing countries and tackle the most urgent challenges of development.
For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
For more information about TBC Bank, please visit: www.tbc.ge
For more information about the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs,