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IFC, Georgian Government, TBC Bank Partner to Help Smaller Businesses

Tbilisi, Georgia, March 5, 2015 —IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, the Entrepreneurship Development Agency (Enterprise Georgia), and TBC Bank today signed a Memorandum of Understanding designed to enhance the financial know-how of entrepreneurs, part of efforts to support smaller businesses and encourage economic growth in Georgia.
IFC will work with both partners to disseminate resources through the SME Toolkit, an online business portal that provides the owners of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with practical advice on how to run their business. IFC and TBC Bank launched the SME Toolkit in Georgia in 2013. Trainers from the Entrepreneurship Development Agency (Enterprise Georgia) will use the toolkit in their work with SMEs, especially in rural and remote areas of the country, as part of the government’s Produce in Georgia program.
“This cooperation is a clear example of the government’s continued support to SME development,” said George Tsikolia, CEO of the Entrepreneurship Development Agency (Enterprise Georgia). “Our efforts aim to ease access to finance and the business intelligence needed to run a successful business. We support SMEs in increasing their competitiveness and try to ensure the long-term solvency of local enterprises.”
Specialized training programs will provide businesses with practical advice on how to apply for government grants and subsidized loans, while also offering guidance on how to run a business.
“We are pleased to launch another new project through our online business portal, benefiting our clients,” said Vakhtang Butskhrikidze, TBC Bank CEO. “TBC Bank offers educational and development programs for SMEs on a permanent basis. I am sure this new cooperation with the Entrepreneurship Development Agency and IFC will contribute to the further development of the Georgian economy.”
“Our joint efforts serve as a good example of how global knowledge tailored to the needs of the local market can make a difference,” said Thea Gigiberia, IFC’s Georgia Country Representative. “This cooperation is part of our strategy in Georgia to support smaller enterprises and help them create jobs and reduce poverty.”
The SME Toolkit, an innovation of IFC, developed in partnership with IBM, provides smaller businesses with tools and educational resources that support their day-to-day operations from the start-up stage to expansion. This web platform is available in Georgian at . The introduction of the SME Toolkit is part of IFC efforts to support the sector in Europe and Central Asia. The work is funded by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs.
Georgia became an IFC member in 1995. Since then, IFC has invested more than $810 million in 60 projects across various sectors and supported regional projects developed in the country. IFC has also implemented a number of advisory projects focused on the development of the private sector.
About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private enterprises in about 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. In FY14, we provided more than $22 billion in financing to improve lives in developing countries and tackle the most urgent challenges of development. For more information, visit .
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