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IFC to Launch Business Edge Training Tool in Sierra Leone, Seeks Partners


In Freetown
Marisa Zawacki, IFC
Phone: +232 76 912 822
Email: Mzawacki@ifc.org

In Johannesburg
Sabrina Hadjadj Aoul, IFC
Phone: +27 11 731 3175
Email: Shadjadjaoul@ifc.org


Freetown, Sierra Leone, February 19 , 2010 — IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, said today it will launch its Business Edge training product in Sierra Leone by March 2010 deepening its support for businessmen and women in the country and helping them acquire the skills they need to succeed.  

IFC is currently seeking partners to deliver Business Edge training in Sierra Leone, where it is supporting private sector recovery and growth. Business Edge is an interactive learning program that offers skills training to help managers increase their knowledge and run more efficient businesses. The product has helped thousands of entrepreneurs in emerging markets improve their skills and businesses.  

Jumoke Jagun-Dokunmu, IFC Resident Representative for Sierra Leone and Liberia, said, “We are seeking to create partnerships with local consultants, qualified firms and institutions to launch and manage Business Edge in Sierra Leone. Supporting smaller businesses is a major focus of IFC’s work, particularly in African countries recovering from conflict, where a stronger small business sector will help create employment and support economic growth.”

IFC is currently training local firms and consultants in Sierra Leone so they can qualify to deliver Business Edge to the country’s entrepreneurs, who often struggle to find the business support they need to succeed.

IFC held a Business Edge training session in Freetown from February 15 to 19 for 15 local consulting firms and individual consultants. IFC will in March launch a program called “Enhancing SME Consulting Skills” targeting a vast audience of consultants.

Also in March, IFC will host an event in Freetown to promote Business Edge to about 50 members of Sierra Leone’s business community, including banks, financial institutions, firms, microfinance institutions and SMEs. Business Edge will help SMEs become better suppliers, distributors and clients.  Therefore IFC will seek to develop partnerships with large corporate firms which work with SMEs to create and enhance linkages that will improve performance along the value chain.

Business Edge includes class sessions featuring high-quality training material from the global market to offer small business owners and managers a practical means to improve their efficiency and profitability.

IFC is the only international financial institution focused exclusively on the private sector, the engine of sustainable development in emerging markets. It is currently seeking a capital increase to strengthen its ability to create opportunity for the poor in developing countries -- including supporting the growth of smaller businesses.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $14.5 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing countries during the financial crisis. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.