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IFC, IBM, Universidade Eduardo Mondlane Support Small Businesses in Mozambique

Maputo, Mozambique, December 17, 2010 — IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the Universidade Eduardo Mondlane (UEM), today signed a partnership to provide freely-available business and management training to Portuguese-speaking entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprise (SME) owners in Mozambique.  
Under the partnership, IFC, UEM, and IBM launched a specialized version of the SME Toolkit business training website in Portuguese at an event in Maputo attended by more than 150 people from Mozambique’s business community. The website can found at .
The Rector of Eduardo Mondlane University Dr. Filipe Couto, said, ”The SME Toolkit is a practical tool through which Eduardo Mondlane University will implement its private sector development activities, demonstrating in this way the necessity to find local solutions managed by Mozambicans for the local businessmen. The SME Toolkit fits well with UEM’s strategy of promoting entrepreneurship in Mozambique, which led to the establishment of Entrepreneurship Business School of Chibuto.”
Babatunde Onitiri, IFC Country Manager for Mozambique, said, “The SME Toolkit is already helping thousands of business owners across Africa gain the skills they need to succeed and now Portuguese speakers in Mozambique will have access to this training material. Supporting smaller businesses is a major focus of IFC’s work in Africa and a stronger SME sector in Mozambique will help create employment and generate growth.”
The SME Toolkit offers on-line 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.
More than 45 institutions in Mozambique, including financial institutions, corporate firms, business associations, donor programs, educational institutions and public institutions have shown interest in joining the SME Toolkit.
UEM is the largest and oldest university in Mozambique, with more than 20,000 students and it has 15 schools of higher learning and faculties across the country.
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 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 SMEToolkit’s capabilities.
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 .