RABAT/WASHINGTON, D.C., June, 28, 2004—
The North Africa Enterprise Development (NAED), a regional small and medium
enterprise business development facility managed by the International Finance
Corporation, ended a half-day training program on June 24 in Casablanca,
Morocco, “Practical Solutions to Effective SME Management.” Helping local
management training and business consultancy firms develop new products
and services that meet SME needs is a core focus of NAED.
Some 230 representatives of SMEs, training & consulting firms, business
membership organizations, the Moroccan government, and donors organizations
attended the forum.
The training program was held in conjunction with Confederation Generale
des Entreprises du Maroc, the Employers Federation of Morocco. It marks
the roll-out in Morocco of "Business Edge", the global management
training and support services product range of IFC, the private sector
arm of the World Bank Group. The “Practical Solutions to Effective SME
Management” program also heralds the first stage of the implementation
of Business Edge products and services in the French-speaking countries
– Algeria being the other - covered by NAED.
The forum included discussions on the key findings of a SME Management
Training market assessment in Morocco, conducted by NAED. The study showed
that Moroccan management training companies are not very interested in
reaching out to small businesses, manly because they saw local SME entrepreneurs
as being skeptical about the value-added that management training would
bring to their operations. Conversely, the survey showed that SME entrepreneurs,
felt that local management training companies did not offer the right product
mix, failing to offer to an integrated package of products and services
that would address all of their needs in practical areas – especially
in management training.
is the first small business development facility in the Middle East and
North Africa region and is managed from IFC’s headquarters in Cairo, with
IFC offices in Algiers and Rabat as well. It is a five-year $20 million
technical assistance program for small businesses, cofunded by IFC and
donor countries, including Belgium, France, Italy, and Switzerland. NAED’s
key objective is to foster job creation in Egypt, Algeria, and Morocco
by supporting the development of small businesses -- the bedrock of all
those countries’ economies.
The mission of IFC (www.ifc.org)
is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing 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 FY03, IFC has committed more than $37
billion of its own funds and arranged $22 billion in syndications for 2,990
companies in 140 developing countries. IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio
as of FY03 was $16.8 billion for its own account and $6.6 billion held
for participants in loan syndications.