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IFC Launches Business Edge Training Program in Burkina Faso to Support SME Growth

Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, July 27, 2011- IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today launched Business Edge in Burkina Faso, deepening its support for businesses in the country by helping them access world-class training material and acquire the skills they need to succeed.  
Business Edge is an interactive learning program that offers skills training to help managers increase their knowledge and run more efficient businesses. As an important part of IFC’s strategy to support the growth of smaller businesses in Africa, the product has already helped more than one hundred thousand entrepreneurs in emerging markets improve their skills and profitability.  
IFC will work with five partners to implement Business Edge training in Burkina Faso and is seeking more partners to help deliver the training to small business owners in the country.
Mary - Jean Moyo, IFC Country Manager, said, “Supporting smaller businesses is a major focus of IFC’s work in Africa, where a stronger small business sector will help create employment and support economic growth. IFC is seeking to create partnerships with local consultants, qualified firms and institutions to deliver Business Edge training in Burkina Faso.”
Earlier this month, IFC held a Business Edge training session for its five local partners. The partners will help organize educational events, identify training needs, customize content, manage training activities, ensure quality, provide coaching, and evaluate the impact of the training.
IFC has also introduced Business Edge to about 50 members of Burkina Faso’s business community, including banks, financial institutions, firms, microfinance institutions and SMEs. IFC is seeking to partner with large corporations to create and enhance linkages with SMEs, supporting their growth.
IFC’s five implementing partners in Burkina Faso are: Institut de Management Conseils & Formation (IMC Sarl), Market Ingenierie Office (MIO Sarl), Gestion d’Entreprises Formations et Etudes pour le Developement (GEFED Sarl), Cabinet d’Ingenierie et de Conseil en Developement d’Entreprise (ICDE) and  Cabinet Lessokon Sarl.
IFC is also seeking a partner to run its SME Toolkit in Burkina Faso. SME Toolkit, which complements Business Edge, offers online business management information, forms, interactive tools and educational resources that help users implement sustainable business management practices, improve their managerial skills, access finance, and access new markets.
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, providing advisory services to businesses and governments, and mobilizing capital in the international financial markets. In fiscal 2011, amid economic uncertainty across the globe, we helped our clients create jobs, strengthen environmental performance, and contribute to their local communities—all while driving our investments to an all-time high of nearly $19 billion. For more information, visit
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About Business Edge
To date, Business Edge has been rolled out in more than 30 countries and more than 120,000 entrepreneurs were trained through a network of 350 certified trainers. Flexible in its application, Business Edge is reducing the skills gap of very different populations, often underserved or not served at all. Twenty-four percent of all BE trainees are women, IDA and conflict affected countries represent 59 percent of the regions currently served by BE and 26 percent of all BE trainees come from conflict-affected countries like Iraq and Yemen.
Recent partnerships with banks, microfinance institutions and major corporations are presenting new opportunities. Tailored BE services have been delivered to clients, as well as distributors and suppliers in corporate value chains, and corporate middle managers.   For more information, visit
About SME Toolkit
The SME Toolkit was launched in 2002 by IFC.  In Sub-Saharan Africa, the SME Toolkit network covers Benin, Kenya, Rwanda, Madagascar, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Zambia and Mozambique. The sites enable users to search and browse content, list their businesses, and create Web pages in a searchable business directory. Users are also able to network by participating in multilingual community forums on key business management topics. The SME Toolkit content can also be distributed on CD-ROM and mobile phones. In 2006, IFC partnered with IBM ( strengthen and expand the Toolkit’s capabilities.
Globally, to-date the SME Toolkit is available through 31 Web sites and in over 17 languages throughout the developing world. In many of these markets there are no other comparable on-line support resources for small businesses in the local language.  The Toolkit receives over 4.5 million unique visitors per year. For more information, visit