Washington, DC — IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, announced today it has signed agreements with Fidelity Bank and the Association of Oil Marketing Companies to expand access to its Business Edge training program in Ghana, helping entrepreneur's gain the skills they need to succeed and supporting small business growth in the country.
The two-year agreements with the institutions will allow 200 SME's in Ghana to access world-class management training and run more efficient businesses. Business Edge is an important part of IFC's strategy to support the growth of smaller businesses in Africa. The interactive product has already helped more than 100,000 entrepreneurs in emerging markets improve their skills and profitability.
Mary Jean Ndlovu, IFC Ghana County Manager, said, "These partnerships are an important milestone to supporting the expansion of Business Edge solution as well as improving the growth of smaller businesses in Ghana.
Supporting smaller businesses is a major focus of IFC's work and a stronger SME business sector in Ghana will help create employment and generate growth in the country."
In addition to its capacity building efforts, IFC focuses on improving the business environment for SMEs and access to finance. By focusing on the regulatory problems that impact SMEs most (such as licensing, registration and taxation) IFC and its partners can create entry points for the other building blocks of the approach. 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% of all Ghanaian firms have access to a line of credit, while for small companies, this falls to 13%. IFC collaborates with local banks to expand financial services to SMEs in Ghana. Another key area of IFC's work is to remove regulatory barriers such as licensing, registration and taxation, to help small businesses grow.