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IFC and Chad Chamber of Commerce Support Small Business Linkages in Chad

N’Djamena, Chad, July 1, 2010 —IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, entered a new phase of its support to small businesses surrounding the Chad-Cameroon Pipeline Project by transferring the Chad Enterprise Center to the Chad Chamber of Commerce, a move that will help business people develop skills and enhance the growth and competitiveness of micro, small, and medium enterprises.
IFC, in partnership with the Chad Chamber of Commerce, hosted a workshop on June 30 in N’djamena. About 30 representatives from the extractive industries, local small businesses, Chamber of Commerce, and officials attended this event.  
The objective of the workshop was to transfer management of the Chad Enterprise Center to the Chamber of Commerce.  The center becomes an integral unit of the Chamber of Commerce, with dedicated personnel trained in key enterprise training and support services such as electronic procurement for oil companies, management training, business planning, and access to finance facilitation.  
“We are pleased, together with the Chad Chamber of Commerce, to ensure that the Enterprise Center in Chad is sustained and can help support the growth of local small businesses,” said Henri Rabarijohn, IFC Country Manager in Chad.  “Supporting smaller businesses is a major focus of IFC’s work in Africa and a stronger sector in Chad will help create employment and generate growth in the country.”
The Chad Enterprise Center, created in December 2004 as joint partnership between IFC and the Chad Chamber of Commerce, is the major vehicle for delivering micro, small, and medium enterprise capacity building activities and value-added benefits linked to the Chad-Cameroon Pipeline Project.  It aims to provide a full range of services for small enterprises emerging and growing in the Chad oil economy, including access to information and finance, capacity development and network management, and business linkages between local businesses and international firms.
IFC also supports the Chamber of Commerce through a capacity-building program to provide more services to its membership and advocate the business climate improvement.
Souraj Koulamalah, President of the Chad Chamber of Commerce, said, “We are profoundly grateful to IFC for its continued support to private sector development in Chad.  The positive transformation of our business environment and the increasing role that our local private sector is playing in the new oil economy would not have been possible without our great partnership with IFC.  The Chamber of Commerce vows to continue this important mission”.
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 capital for private enterprise, 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 Chad Enterprise Center
The Chad Enterprise Center is the first locally based institutional center in Chad focusing on small and medium enterprise development. The center has established the country’s only private sector database comprising about 1,500 small and medium enterprises. It also has created a series of business training modules tailored for microenterprises. In addition to its main activities with ExxonMobil, the center also has worked with other partners including UNICEF, FAO, and the Ministry of Water Resources of Chad.