Business News of Friday, 24 May 2013

Source: B&FT

IFC empowers 240 SMEs

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has signed an agreement with Advans Ghana Savings & Loans Company to expand access to its Business Edge training programme in the country.

The agreement will allow 240 SMEs to access world-class management training, run more efficient businesses and improve staff productivity. Business Edge, an IFC innovation, is a world-class proprietary training solution designed to improve management capacity and business performance.

It is an important part of IFC’s strategy to support smaller businesses in Africa. The interactive product has already helped more than 100,000 entrepreneurs in emerging markets improve their skills and profitability.

“IFC places high priority on encouraging entrepreneurship in Ghana, which is supported by new partnerships and the expansion of the Business Edge solution,” said Mary-Jean Moyo, IFC Country Manager for Ghana.

“More robust small and medium enterprises are critical to creating jobs and generating growthfor Ghana,” she added.

Support for Business Edge is part of a broader effort by the IFC, which is a member of the World Bank group, to support the conditions for smaller businesses. Through efforts to encourage efficient and effective regulation in areas such as licencing, registration and taxation, IFC and its partners aim to improve entry-points and other building blocks for small business success, the Corporation said in a statement.

To improve access to finance, IFC collaborates with local financial intermediaries that enable SMEs to grow their businesses with affordable and tailored credit and investment. Inadequate access to finance constrains growth of small and medium businesses in Ghana, and hinders job-creation. Only 22 percent of all Ghanaian firms have access to a line of credit, a figure that falls to 13 percent among smaller companies.

Ghana is the second-largest recipient of funds from the IFC in sub-Saharan Africa, with a total of US$1.6 billion invested so far in the country. This year, IFC is investing US$200 million in Ghana to boost growth, Ms. Moyo told the B&FT earlier this month.