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IFC Signs Agreement to Increase Access to SME Business Training in Burundi

Bujumbura, Burundi, May 11, 2015 - IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has signed an agreement with Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) in Burundi to help Burundi’s small business managers and others gain the skills needed to succeed, supporting economic growth in the country.
Under the agreement, KCB will offer IFC’s Business Edge management skills training and coaching to 330 small and medium-sized enterprise clients to improve their business performance and staff productivity. Backed by IFC and delivered by certified local trainers, Business Edge™ strengthens the management skills of owners, managers and staff of small businesses. The interactive training solution has already helped more than 100,000 entrepreneurs in Africa improve their skills and profitability.  
“This partnership between KCB Burundi and IFC will support our SME customers in improving their knowledge and expertise,” said Jean-Paul Rudgi, KCB’s Business Banking Manager. “Business Edge will advise our clients on increasing not only their activities, but also their income, which in turn will create jobs and generate economic growth for Burundi.”
Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises play an important role in Burundi’s economic development but are hindered by a lack of access to finance.  Less than 2 percent of Burundi’s population is accessing banking services, and commercial banks tend to focus on larger organizations.
Manuel Moses, IFC Head for East Africa, said, “Supporting smaller businesses is a major focus of IFC’s work in Africa, as SMEs are an engine for economic development.  Our support to Burundi’s entrepreneurs will help them attain their own goals for expansion, and generate growth in the country.”
IFC is improving access to finance in Burundi by working with local financial organizations, which enable SMEs to grow their businesses with affordable and tailored credit, investment and management solutions.
IFC is also supporting Burundi with its Conflict Affected States in Africa Initiative (CASA), which support private sector growth in countries recovering from conflict. CASA is backed by IFC donor partners Ireland, the Netherlands, and Norway.
About IFC
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
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