Kigali, Rwanda, July 15, 2009— IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today increased its support for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in Rwanda by officially launching an online training program and a business solutions center that will help businessmen and women in the country develop new skills.
Rwandan entrepreneurs can now benefit from IFC’s SME Toolkit, an online, interactive program that uses the latest communication technologies to help smaller businesses learn sustainable management practices. The SME Toolkit was developed in partnership with IBM.
Business Edge, a complimentary product, offers guidance in a range of topics, including marketing, Human Resource Management, Finance and accounting, General and Operations Management and personal productivity.
The MAXINET Center for Business Solutions, the first of its kind in Rwanda, will offer a complete package of business incubation facilities, access to business information and will help smaller businesses access finance.
The center is a partnership between IFC, MAXINET, and Raizcorp, a South African based company that provides business development services to smaller businesses across Africa.
Dorothy Berry, IFC Vice President of Human Resources, Communications, and Administration, said, “We are pleased to bring Business Edge and the SME Toolkit to the Rwandan market to support the growth of smaller businesses in the country.
Supporting smaller businesses is a major focus of IFC’s work in Africa and a stronger small business sector in Rwanda will help create employment and support growth in the country.”
These new products and services were launched by IFC’s Rwanda Entrepreneurship Development Program (REDP), a two-year, $2.4 million imitative to support the growth of smaller businesses in Rwanda with training and tools to bridge entrepreneurship development skills gaps.
REDP, which is supported by Japan, Netherlands, and Wallonia (Belgium), is also working to develop a private market for smaller business training services.
IFC also today honored the first 25 Rwandan businesses that have completed training in business planning using the SME Toolkit.
The businesses were trained under an arrangement with Access Bank, which covered part of the cost for their training.
Solange Uwingabiye, the managing director of Top One Conduct, a leading distributor for Rwandatel and one of the 25 businesses that completed the training said: “IFC’s SME Toolkit has revolutionized my business practices...I was able to use the knowledge I acquired in the training to develop, interpret and review my own business plan. I can also now manage and control my work to reach my goals.”
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 $16.2 billion in fiscal year 2008, a 34 percent increase over the previous year. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
About MAXINET Group
Maxinet Group Ltd is an international brokerage company using the best management know-how, state of the art technology and efficient logistics follow-up to address various business management and logistical needs in the regional market
For more information about IBM, visit www.ibm.com