Press Releases

IFC and Aga Khan Foundation (Pakistan) Support the Growth of Small Enterprises in Pakistan

In Cairo:
Name: Riham Mustafa
Phone: +202 2461 4230

Islamabad, Pakistan, January 19, 2010—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today signed an agreement with the Aga Khan Foundation (Pakistan) [AKF(P)] – an agency of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) to support the growth of Small and Medium Organizations (SMOs) and businesses in Pakistan by providing training and skills development to both businessmen and women in the country.

IFC and AKF(P), will partner to offer IFC’s Business Edge management training product to Pakistani SMOs and entrepreneurs seeking to grow their businesses.

IFC will train 20 Business Edge trainers who will be selected by AKF(P). These trainers will then deliver Business Edge training for small and medium enterprises at workshops to be held between July and November 2010 in Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral. For more information about Business Edge see

Al-Nashir Jamal, AKF(P)’s CEO, said, “The training will not only benefit the organizations but also the individuals employed by these small and medium organizations. This partnership with IFC will help fill a gap in management training in Pakistan, helping social entrepreneurs gain the skills they need to grow.”

Khawar Ansari, IFC’s Business Edge Country Coordinator, said, “Small and medium enterprises are catalysts for growth and employment generation. By expanding the reach of our Business Edge program in Pakistan, we will provide a greater number of smaller businesses with the training they need to grow and create jobs.”

This partnership builds on a long-standing relationship between IFC and the AKDN around the world and in the Middle East and North Africa. IFC and AKDN previously partnered to create the First Microfinance Bank of Pakistan and the First Microfinance Bank of Afghanistan. Both organizations work towards creating opportunities for people to escape poverty and improve their lives.

IFC’s Business Edge is delivered by selected local training partners and certified local trainers and sets a new standard for business training in developing countries. It was rolled out in the Middle East and North Africa region in 2004 and is available in Afghanistan, Egypt, Pakistan, and Yemen, and in other IFC regions including Latin America and the Caribbean and Sub-Saharan Africa.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $14.5 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing countries during the financial crisis. For more information, visit

About Aga Khan Foundation
The Aga Khan Foundation is part of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN). Founded and guided by His Highness the Aga Khan, the AKDN brings together a number of international development agencies, institutions and programs that work primarily in the poorest parts of South and Central Asia, Africa and the Middle East. For more information, visit