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IFC and Equity Bank Work to Strengthen SMEs in South Sudan, Increase Business Activity

Juba, South Sudan, February 1, 2013 – IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today launched an initiative in partnership with Equity Bank that will improve the management skills of hundreds of small business owners in South Sudan, and strengthen the country’s private sector.
The initiative, which uses IFC’s Business Edge™ training program , will offer entrepreneurs business leadership and financial literacy workshops, as well as training in business management areas, including finance and accounting, marketing, productivity, human resource, and operations management.
More than 300 small business owners and managers from the agribusiness, general trade, and services sectors benefitted from a three-day business leadership and financial literacy workshop in Juba that also encouraged dialogue between Equity Bank and its customers to face down challenges to small business growth.
Paul Gitahi, Managing Director of Equity Bank, said, “We are proud to partner with institutions like IFC to address capacity building gaps among small businesses in South Sudan and grow them into well managed and respectable enterprises that will transform the country’s economy.”
Etienne Ndatimana, IFC’s SME Development Program Manager for South Sudan, said, “IFC is committed to helping South Sudan achieve economic growth by providing support to the country’s smaller businesses. IFC’s partnership with Equity Bank is important to this commitment and we are open to forging partnerships with other like-minded institutions committed to South Sudan’s economy.”  
The First Deputy Governor of the Bank of South Sudan, H.E. John Dor Majok, presided over the launch of the training program. He called upon the country’s private sector to increase local production and to drive economic growth.
IFC is supporting South Sudan’s efforts to improve its investment climate, diversify its economy and strengthen its smaller businesses.
South Sudan is also one of eight focus countries of IFC’s Conflict Affected States in Africa Initiative (CASA), which is supporting private sector growth in countries rebuilding their economies after conflict. CASA is supported by donor partners Ireland, the Netherlands, and Norway. Denmark provides additional support to CASA in South Sudan.
IFC’s SME Development Program for South Sudan is a partnership with South Sudan’s government and the Netherlands. It aims to strengthen SMEs, and also supports South Sudan’s Chamber of Commerce.
About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, mobilizing capital in international financial markets, and providing advisory services to businesses and governments. In FY12, our investments reached an all-time high of more than $20 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs, spark innovation, and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit .
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About Business Edge TM
IFC Sustainable Business Advisory Services is supporting the growth of small and medium enterprises. Working with partners in Africa, IFC has helped thousands of entrepreneurs access the finance and skills they need to realize their potential. Business Edge™ is a face-to-face IFC training system that helps SMEs more easily access markets by strengthening their management capacity. The training can be customized for specific countries and regions in Africa. For more information, including a full list of our corporate partners and accredited training firms, visit .