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IFC Increases Support for Smaller Businesses in Rwanda

Kigali, Rwanda, February 11, 2010 —IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is expanding its support for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in Rwanda by providing more training opportunities for  business owners to acquire the management skills they need to succeed.  
IFC’s Rwanda Entrepreneurship Development Program (REDP) today completed a five-day training session in Kigali that certified 24 trainers on Business Edge, an IFC-supported program designed to sharpen the management skills of business owners.
The 24 newly-accredited trainers are now certified to conduct Business Edge management training for businessmen and women in Rwanda. Two local firms, the Center for Business Solutions and Optimum Consulting Limited, have been licensed to provide Business Edge training in Rwanda.
Ignace Bacyaha, IFC’s REDP Manager said, “IFC has partnered with Rwanda’s Private Sector Federation to support the growth of as many businesses in the country as possible and will continue to forge partnerships with key stakeholders to achieve even greater SME development impact. Business Edge training will be delivered alongside the SME Toolkit, an IFC training product developed in partnership with IBM and which is already available in Rwanda.”
IFC’s Business Edge training has benefitted more than 800 SMEs in Rwanda since May 2009. IFC plans to train more than 80 Business Edge trainers by June 2011. REDP plans to expand in Rwanda to offer training to businesses in the telecommunications, energy, agribusiness, and mining sectors.
Sylvie Pawele, recently certified to deliver IFC’s Business Edge training to entrepreneurs, said, “I have been conducting training for SMEs for many years but Business Edge is superior to many training products in terms of content and delivery methods.”
IFC’s REDP, which is supported by Japan, Netherlands, and Wallonia (Belgium), offers training to develop entrepreneurship skills, while seeking to expand the training services market.
Jan Bade, First Secretary at the Netherlands Embassy said:” we are happy to see that IFC is streamlining the business management training industry with the best management solutions for SMEs. I was impressed to hear that SMEs reporting already improved as a result”
IFC is the only international financial institution focused exclusively on the private sector, the engine of sustainable development in emerging markets.  Along with IBRD, it is currently seeking a capital increase to strengthen its ability to create opportunity for the poor in developing countries—including by supporting the business skills development in Rwanda.
About IFC
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 $14.5 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing countries during the financial crisis. For more information, visit .
About the Center for Business Solution (CBS)
The Centre for Business Solutions (CBS) is an affiliate company to Maxinet Group Limited that offers integrated solutions to SMEs including SMEs Capacity building using IFC’s core products SME Toolkit and Business Edge.
About Optimum Consulting Limited
Optimum Consulting Limited is a management consultancy firm based in Rwanda with global operations across Africa.
About SME Toolkit
The SME Toolkit was launched in 2002 by IFC.  In Sub-Saharan Africa, the Toolkit network covers Benin, Kenya, Madagascar, Nigeria, Rwanda, 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. In countries with limited Internet access, a CD-ROM version of the SME Toolkit is distributed, which enables increased dissemination and access.
In 2006, IFC partnered with IBM to strengthen and expand the Toolkit’s capabilities. IBM has to date invested extensive resources to develop the product on an innovative and open-source platform.
The SME Toolkit is available in 32 markets and over 17 languages throughout the developing world. In many of these markets there are no other comparable online support resources for small businesses in the local language. The Toolkit has over 4 million unique visits per year.   For more information, visit .
For more information about IBM, visit