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IFC Trains Managers to Maximize Growth Potential of Small Businesses in Morocco


In Washington:
Ahmed Badawi-Malik

Phone: +1 (202) 458-7148

Fax:      +1 (202) 974-4384

Email:
Abadawi@ifc.org

In Rabat:

Joumana Cobein

Phone: + (212) 3765-2479

Fax:     + (212) 3765-2893

Email:
jcobein@ifc.org


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.


NAED (
www.ifc.org/sme) 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.