IFC, TBC Bank Launch Web Platform to Support Smaller Businesses
Tbilisi, Georgia, December 12, 2013—IFC, a member of the World Bank
Group, and Georgia’s TBC Bank today launched a free web platform designed
to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) become more competitive and
profitable, boosting economic growth across Georgia.
The SME Toolkit, an IFC innovation developed in partnership with IBM, will
provide smaller businesses with tools and educational resources that support
their operations from start-up to expansion. This web platform, now available
in Georgian at www.tbcbusiness.ge,
is tailored to the local market and will provide businesses with practical
guidance in areas like accounting, access to finance, and human resources.
“The SME segment has always been a priority for TBC Bank as small and
medium businesses contribute greatly to the country’s economic development,”
said Vakhtang Butskhrikidze, TBC Bank CEO. “SME Toolkit demonstrates our
commitment to creating a special relationship with our clients. This approach
will not only further enhance our long-term partnership with SMEs but will
also be very helpful for the Georgian economy.”
“This is our first SME Toolkit platform launched in partnership with a
financial institution in Europe. It is a vital part of IFC’s efforts to
make global knowledge available to private companies in this region, which
will help them grow and drive economic development,” said Patrick Luternauer,
IFC’s Regional Manager for Sustainable Business Advisory in Europe and
IFC’s SME Toolkit, launched in 2002, is now available in more than 40
countries and 17 languages. Since the program’s launch, SME Toolkit web
sites have been visited by nearly 20 million people across the developing
The introduction of SME Toolkit is part of IFC's effort to support the
SME sector in Europe and Central Asia. The work is supported by the Swiss
State Secretariat for Economic Affairs.
IFC has partnered with TBC, one of the leading banks in Georgia, since
1998 and became a shareholder in 2000. SME Toolkit is part of TBC’s business
support program, 7 Steps to Success, which offers free consultancy services
to small and medium enterprises.
Several other leading organizations are supporting SME Toolkit, including
PwC, Ernst &Young, BDO, LeavingStone, Management Academy, the Georgian
Federation of Professional Accountants, and Georgia’s Ministry of Economy
and Sustainable Development.
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 more than 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise,
and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity.
In FY13, our investments climbed to an all-time high of nearly $25 billion,
leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs and tackle the
world’s most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit
About SME Toolkit
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 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 TBC Bank, please visit: www.tbc.ge.
For more information about IBM, please visit www.ibm.com.
For more information about the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs,
please visit: www.seco-cooperation.admin.ch/index.html?lang=en.