Press Releases

Business Edge Management Training delivered to Egyptian Entrepreneurs through Ministry of Trade and Industry with IFC Help

In Washington:
Corrie Shanahan
Phone: +(202) 473 2258

In Cairo:
Michel Botzung
Phone: + 202 579 5912
Fax: + 202 579 6447

Cairo, March 21, 2006— The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, is working with the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Industry of Egypt, to carry out a four year ‘Skills Development Project’ to improve labor productivity of small and medium businesses in the construction, manufacturing, and tourism sectors.

The project will provide vocational and managerial training to local entrepreneurs through IFC’s Business Edge management training and will be delivered by business membership organizations and associations, to small and medium businesses in these sectors.

Business Edge is the brand name for IFC’s international range of management training products and services, especially designed for owners and managers of small and medium businesses.

The Skills Development Project is a four year project of The Ministry of Foreign Trade and Industry, which began in 2004 and aims to improve labor productivity in the form of broad skills and competencies training. This project is one element in an overall strategy to reform the technical and vocational education and training system in Egypt. The project has a total budget of $12.5 million equivalent, partially financed by a World Bank loan.

The International Finance Corporation is the private sector arm of the World Bank Group and is headquartered in Washington, D.C.  IFC coordinates its activities with the other institutions of the World Bank Group but is legally and financially independent.  Its 178 member countries provide its share capital and collectively determine its policies.

The mission of IFC is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing and transition countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve people’s lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses. From its founding in 1956 through FY05, IFC has committed more than $49 billion of its own funds and arranged $24 billion in syndications for 3,319 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio as of FY05 was $19.3 billion for its own account and $5.3 billion held for participants in loan syndications.  For more information, visit

PEP-MENA is IFC’s technical assistance facility that supports private sector development in the Middle East and North Africa. PEP-MENA focuses on improving the business enabling and regulatory environment; strengthening the financial sector; promoting the growth of small and medium enterprises and their support services, such as business organizations and consulting firms; helping restructure and privatize state-owned enterprises; and developing viable private sector and public-private partnership projects, especially in infrastructure.

Business Edge is a management training program for small and medium enterprises that has been adapted for the Middle East and North Africa region.  It is a comprehensive training program that includes 36 management courses on five different topics: marketing, human resources, production and operations, finance and accounting, and productivity skills.  The program also includes delivery methodology (such as training of trainers and trainer manuals) and a technical assistance component. The program is delivered by private training institutes that enter into agreement with IFC and adopt Business Edge as part of their business model and offer it to local businesses. IFC accredits these institutions, training their trainers and providing hands-on support as they deliver the program. Business Edge is available in seven countries in the region (Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Yemen, Oman, Palestine, and the United Arabic Emirates). For more information, visit

Access to Business Services (A2B) provides support to Business Membership Organizations (BMOs) promoting their capacity as providers of business services to SMEs. The program objective is to strengthen BMOs to be-come more effective service providers and to play a more prominent role as advocates for a business-friendly environment. The expected outcome of the program is an improved performance of the intermediary organizations to be measured by the increase in No of clients, revenues from service fees or No of members. The program offers technical assistance on how to develop and to introduce demand-driven and fee-based services for members and non-members; advice on how to do evidence-based advocacy; networking with best-practice partners from developing and developed countries; and Standardized products such as training courses for BMO staff on BMO management.