IFC training program addresses SME performance

Sherine El Madany
3 Min Read

CAIRO: In a bid to provide high quality management training tailored to the local needs, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) signed agreements with six new training providers to deliver the IFC Business Edge training program. The initiative is designed to enhance the performance of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Egypt as well as to promote awareness of management strategies.

The six new training providers are AB and Associates, the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt, Cospe, EAAC Group, Hands-On, and Integrated Management Consultancy. Their partnerships with IFC Business Edge program will be reviewed on an annual basis and renewed only if they meet business-plan targets.

“Our partnership with IFC’s Business Edge program has contributed to giving us a competitive edge, since it is the only management training product on the Arab market that provides practical solutions to SME management, said Khaled Khallaf, business development manager of the EAAC Group. “Moreover, the capacity-building tools that the program offers have helped strengthen our company and increase its growth and profitability.

IFC Business Edge program is specifically tailored to the Mena region and offers a range of management training tools for SMEs. It includes 36 management courses in five topics: marketing, human resources, production and operations, finance and accounting, and personal productivity skills.

Moreover, it offers train-the-trainer courses, self-study workbooks and manuals, as well as a monitoring and evaluation framework that ensures quality and effectiveness of the training.

To ensure sustainability and the widest possible coverage, IFC partners with local training providers and builds their capacity through improving their marketing and business planning skills. Training providers, in turn, deliver these courses to business owners and managers in their local markets. The program is available in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Oman, the West Bank and Gaza, and Yemen.

“Egypt is our largest market. However, only five percent of all SMEs can access business support services, as an IFC survey revealed that most of them do not have access to management training, explained Michel Botzung, IFC Business Edge program manager.

“Through our partners, we hope to provide these smaller businesses with practical and applicable training tools to enhance their performance. To date, our partners have sold about 5,900 training seats to SME owners and managers, and we expect to continue building on this success.

In Egypt, SMEs constitute more than 90 percent of all non-agricultural private enterprises and generate nearly three-quarters of new employment. They need to become increasingly competitive to create the 200,000 jobs required each year to reduce the country’s unemployment rate.

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