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IFC and Partners Launch Sierra Leone Business Plan Competition

Freetown, Sierra Leone, December 3, 2010 —IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, together with a number of development partners, today launched a business plan competition in Sierra Leone designed to boost entrepreneurship in the country and help create jobs, especially among young men and women.
The Business Bomba Competition II is open to anyone in Sierra Leone with a good business idea and is backed by IFC, along with the Soros Economic Development Foundation, the German Development Agency (GTZ) and the United Kingdom’s Development Agency (DFID). The competition is also backed by the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
IFC will use its world-class Business Edge™ training tool, a comprehensive range of practical and flexible management training solutions, to help 60 finalists develop business plans, and learn proper bookkeeping, customer service management, marketing, and how to work with a budget.  
Jumoke Jagun-Dokunmu, IFC Country Representative for Sierra Leone and Liberia, said, “IFC supports small business development as an engine for economic growth. This competition encourages entrepreneurial initiative and creativity, which will help drive Sierra Leone’s private sector. We encourage other local financial institutions to support these fledgling entrepreneurs in establishing solid and successful businesses.”
Entrants can register for the competition until January 14, 2011 at locations across Sierra Leone, which will be publicized on print, television, and radio. Ten winners will be announced in April, 2011. Prizes include seed capital to start a business. The first prize is $25,000. All winners must officially register their businesses to receive the prize money.
An independent panel from financial institutions, the private sector, and universities will select the winners.
Through this competition, IFC and its partners are helping provide young entrepreneurs in Sierra Leone with the tools necessary to obtain the financing and advice they need to grow their businesses and enter the formal sector so they can contribute to the country’s economic growth.
About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. We create opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We do so by providing financing to help businesses employ more people and supply essential services, by mobilizing capital from others, and by delivering advisory 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. For more information, visit .