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IFC, TBC Bank Launch Web Platform to Support Smaller Businesses in Georgia


In Tbilisi:
Tamar Barbakadze, IFC

Phone: +995 32 223 43 00/01/02

E-mail:
TBarbakadze@ifc.org


IFC, TBC Bank Launch Web Platform to Support Smaller Businesses in Georgia

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 Central Asia.


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 world.


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.
 
 
About IFC

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
www.ifc.org.

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.
 
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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.