Amman, Jordan, May 2, 2012—IFC, a member
of the World Bank Group, and Jordan Ahli Bank today signed an agreement
to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Jordan acquire the skills
they need to expand and create jobs.
Under the agreement, Jordan Ahli Bank will
launch and promote a localized, freely-available version of IFC’s SME
Toolkit web platform in both English and Arabic. The SME Toolkit offers
entrepreneurs free, online, and around-the-clock access to expert information,
interactive tools and educational resources in order to help them implement
sound business management practices, access finance, and enter new markets.
”Jordan Ahli Bank has long recognized that
SMEs are vital to Jordan’s economic growth,” said Falah Mustafa Al Najjar,
Jordan Ahli Bank’s Deputy CEO. “SMEs comprise an estimated 98 percent
of registered companies and account for more than 60 percent of economic
output. The majority are largely considered to be in the introductory stages
of development, and as such can greatly benefit from capacity-building
Ahmed Attiga, IFC Country Manager for Jordan,
said, ”Smaller companies often don’t have access to the information and
training resources they need to expand. The SME toolkit will provide them
with those resources, helping these firms grow, create jobs and contribute
to Jordan’s economic development.”
IFC’s SME Toolkit was launched in 2002 and
is available in 32 countries and 18 languages. Its various websites worldwide
receive a combined 5 million unique visitors annually. In many places it
is the largest online business support resource in the local language.
In 2006, IFC partnered with IBM to strengthen
and expand the SME Toolkit’s capabilities. To date, IBM has invested more
than $3 million to co-develop the product on an open-source platform, offering
innovative and collaborative features.
Jordan Ahli Bank first started to provide
specialized solutions to small and medium enterprises in 2006. Since then,
the bank has launched My Business Centers and many unique financial advisory
and credit services for the SME sector and steadily grown its market share.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is
the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private
sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing
investment, providing advisory services to businesses and governments,
and mobilizing capital in the international financial markets. In fiscal
2011, amid economic uncertainty across the globe, we helped our clients
create jobs, strengthen environmental performance, and contribute to their
local communities— all while driving our investments to an all-time high
of nearly $19 billion. For more information, visit www.ifc.org
For more information about Jordan Ahli
Bank, please visit www.ahli.com.
For more information about IBM, please
IBM’s Corporate Responsibility Report is available at: www.ibm.com/responsibility/.