Amman, Jordan, April 8, 2013—IFC,
a member of the World Bank group, and Jordan Ahli Bank today launched an
online platform designed to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) improve
their performance, part of an effort to boost economic development across
SME Toolkit offers entrepreneurs free,
online, around-the-clock access to expert information, interactive tools,
and educational resources tailored to the Jordanian market. Available at
the platform will help smaller businesses implement sound management practices,
enter new markets, and access the loans they need to expand.
“Smaller enterprises employ about 70
percent of Jordanians, but often they don’t have access to information
that is vital for their business,” said Adnan Khalil, Head of the SME
Services Department at Jordan Ahli Bank. “This platform will help address
that knowledge gap.”
IFC’s SME Toolkit was launched in 2002
and is available in over 40 markets and 17 languages. Its local websites
receive a combined 5.5 million unique visitors annually. In many places
it is the largest online business support resource in the local language.
“Smaller businesses are a vital part
of all economies in this region,” said Mouayed Makhlouf, IFC Director
for the Middle East and North Africa. “The SME Toolkit will give them
the support and know-how they need to grow and create jobs, helping drive
In 2006, IFC partnered with IBM to strengthen
and expand the SME Toolkit’s capabilities.
"Small and medium businesses are
a significant economic force in Jordan," said Bashar Kilani, Territory
Manager, IBM Gulf and Levant. “The SME Toolkit is a great example of how
smaller companies are gaining access to the same sophisticated technology
and know-how for running both the strategic and day-today aspects of their
enterprise. These were once the exclusive domain of much larger businesses.
Equipped with these resources, small and medium enterprises now have a
greater chance of succeeding.”
The project is part of IFC's efforts
to support the development of Jordan's private sector and drive economic
growth across the country. In the 2012 fiscal year, IFC invested $166 million
in Jordan and launched several advisory projects. That support was designed
to increase the supply of affordable medicine, help small businesses secure
much-needed loans, and boost power supplies, among other things.
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, mobilizing capital in international financial
markets, and providing advisory services to businesses and governments.
In FY12, our investments reached an all-time high of more than $20 billion,
leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs, spark innovation,
and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. For more
information, visit www.ifc.org.
SME Toolkit (www.smetoolkit.org),
an innovation of IFC, developed in partnership with IBM, leverages the
latest information and communication technologies to help entrepreneurs
and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in emerging markets learn and implement
sustainable business management practices and increase their productivity,
capacity, and access to finance and new markets. Through a network of global
partners and local distribution partners, the Toolkit provides business
men and women with online and mobile phone access to key business management
information, interactive tools, and educational resources free of charge.
For more information about Jordan
AhliBank, please visit www.ahli.com
For more information about IBM,
please visit www.ibm.com.
IBM’s corporate responsibility report is available at: www.ibm.com/responsibility.