BY JONAH NWOKPOKU
International Finance Corporation, IFC, has pledged an expansion to serve more entrepreneurs with its SME Toolkits.
The firm, a member of the World Bank Group, made the pledge at a conference marking its 10th anniversary in Lagos.
Speaking at the event, the IFC Country Manager, Nigeria, Mr. Solomon Quaynor said the firm’s resolve is to continue to support and strengthen Small and Medium Enterprises, SMEs, especially in developing countries.
“One of our strategic priorities is supporting Small and Medium Enterprises so they can create jobs and reduce poverty in developing countries. This event further strengthens the SME Toolkit to become the ’go-to’ resource for small businesses to help improve SME productivity, competitiveness and employment creation potential,” he said.
The conference is co-sponsored by Enterprise Development Centre, EDC, and sponsored by IBM with the theme; Enabling SME Success: Becoming the Go-To portal for business growth.
Also speaking at the conference, the EDC Director, Peter Bankole said; “building a network of entrepreneurial leaders is the core focus of EDC and partnering with IFC helps us achieve our goal of promoting and supporting enterprises that contribute to economic development. The SME Toolkit Global Partner Conference provides the platform to strengthen partnerships that grow enterprises.”
Taiwo Otiti, Country General Manager for IBM West Africa, said; “IBM is proud of its partnership with IFC and our support of the SME Toolkit since 2006 has helped to greatly expand the toolkit’s capabilities. This relationship has also enriched the innovation process, providing the opportunity for entrepreneurs around the world to work with open source platforms like the SME Toolkit so that they can in turn support and add value to their local economies.”
The event brought together representatives of local SME Toolkit projects from around the world to share experiences, train partners on the latest initiatives, and gather ideas for future programme development.
Launched in 2002, the SME Toolkit which is an innovation of IFC, developed in partnership with IBM, leverages the latest information and communication technologies to help entrepreneurs and Small and Medium Enterprises in emerging markets.