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IFC Advisory Services Links with BCI to Support 200 Women Entrepreneurs in Mozambique

Maputo, Mozambique, 6, 2010 — IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, announced today that it signed a two-year agreement with Banco Comercial e de Investimentos to expand access to its Business Edge and SME Toolkit training solutions. The expansion targets 200 women entrepreneurs in business management skills and access to information, which will in turn help them gain access to markets and finance.
The partnerships with a local bank helps IFC’s Women in Business Program and SME Management Solutions Program effectively target the women entrepreneurs with the training solutions. The training component will cover topics such controlling costs, budgeting, business planning, assessing market opportunities, customer service, selling skills, and market differentiation strategies.
Mozambican women entrepreneurs will be divided in three groups: women ready to access loans, with an established business and who have been clients of BCI in last 3 years; women with a relationship of more than 3 years with BCI; and  women without any formal relationship with BCI but with the potential to become clients. BCI is an IFC investment client.
Zouera Youssoufou, head of IFC’s Women In Business Advisory, said,” This is an excellent opportunity for IFC to bring the full range of our advisory work together to support women in business in Mozambique. The program builds off an already strong partnership with BCI so we are confident that together we can make a significant impact in Mozambique.”
IFC will work closely with its seven implementing partners in Mozambique: Escola Superior de Negócios e Empreendedorismo de Chibuto (ESNEC/UEM), Sociedade de Investimentos (GAPI), Formoprojectos, EUROSIS - Consultoria e Formação em Gestão, PROCESS - Consultoria e Formação, International Capital Corporation (ICC) and  BKSC. Together the partners will organize educational events, identify training needs, customize content, manage training activities, ensure quality, coaching and evaluate the impact of the training.
About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. We create opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives—by providing financing to help businesses employ more people and provide essential services, mobilizing capital from others, and delivering advisory and risk-management services to ensure sustainable development. In a time of global economic uncertainty, our new investments climbed to a record $18 billion in fiscal 2010. For more information, visit .
About Business Edge
Business Edge is IFC’s comprehensive range of practical and flexible management training solutions, specially designed to improve the performance of small and medium firms and middle management of corporate firms.
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, and Zambia. 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 ( ) to 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