Manama, Bahrain, May 10—IFC, a
member of the World Bank Group, and the Ministry of Industry and Commerce
in Bahrain launched an online platform to help small and medium enterprises
(SMEs) across the country grow their business and improve performance.
The SME Toolkit, developed by IFC in
partnership with IBM, offers information and advice on how to start, run
and grow a business. Available for free at http://bahrain.smetoolkit.org,
the SME Toolkit is designed to help managers and entrepreneurs implement
sound management practices to improve their businesses. Its areas of focus
include accounting, finance, human resources, legal issues, and marketing.
“Our objective is to transform the
Kingdom’s oil-dependent economy into a more diversified, developed economy
that is internationally competitive,” said Zayed Al Zayani, the Minister
of Industry and Commerce. “Our partnership with IFC will help us enhance
the competitiveness of our SMEs, and spur growth across the country.”
SMEs are crucial to growth in developing
economies, as they contribute a high proportion of jobs and, in some countries,
more than 30 percent of the gross domestic product. In MENA, they comprise
up to 90 percent of all businesses and generate up to 40 percent of employment
in the region.
“SMEs are often the main drivers of
growth in any country,” said Walid Al Murshed, Head of Gulf Cooperation
Council Countries at IFC. “Providing essential information and business
skills for entrepreneurs will help unlock the economic potential of the
country, while helping companies improve their performance and attract
The Ministry of Industry and Commerce
will be working with three strategic partners; Tamkeen, Bahrain Development
Bank, and Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry, to promote the SME
Toolkit across the kingdom’s private sector.
First launched in 2002, the SME Toolkit
is now available in more than 40 countries and 17 different languages.
Its various websites worldwide receive 6.7 million unique visitors annually.
According to a recent survey, 86 percent of repeat visitors to the online
SME Toolkit have made or plan to make changes to their business. Of those
who made changes, 78 percent of repeat users reported improved business
performance as a result of using SME Toolkit.
The initiative is part of IFC’s strategy
in Bahrain, which focuses on supporting small and medium enterprises, creating
jobs and promoting cross border investments.
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 about 100 countries,
we use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme
poverty and boost shared prosperity. In FY14, we provided more than $22
billion in financing to improve lives in developing countries and tackle
the most urgent challenges of development. For more information, visit
For more information
about MOIC, please visit www.moic.gov.bh
SME Toolkit is an online platform that
helps entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) all over the
world to learn and implement sustainable business management practices
and increase their productivity, efficiency, and capacity, as well as improve
their access to finance and new markets. SME Toolkit provides SMEs with
free online key business management information, interactive tools, and
training resources. This includes over 5,000 free business forms, tools,
and how-to-articles, as well as a global business directory, multilingual
community forums, and a host of other interactive features. Explore our
categories on accounting & finance, human resources, international
business, legal & insurance, marketing & sales, operations, exporting
and technology, as well as our eLearning section. The global site, SME
Toolkit has been launched in 17 languages in 42 markets around the world.