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IFC Sustainability

IFC Sustainability > Sustainable Business Advisory Services  > Supply Chains & Community Investment 

Farmer and SME Training

Farmer and SME Training


What we do


IFC works with small businesses, micro- and smallholder farmers, banks, large companies, and others to provide business management training that can help enable small businesses to grow, find markets, and access bank financing. Our work enables farmers to employ sustainable farming methods, and helps small businesses become bankable and contribute to economic growth, key IFC development goals.


How we do it


IFC uses two different platforms to reach farmers, small businesses, and entrepreneurs who could benefit from business management training: Business Edge, classroom-based business workshops, and SME Toolkit, free online tools, templates, how-to articles, and training to help small businesses grow.


Business Edge: Since 2002, IFC has used Business Edge management training solutions to help around 200,000 individuals strengthen their management skills, grow their businesses, and stay competitive in more than 50 developing countries. Offered in 20 languages, the workshops cover key management topics: marketing, governance, human resources, quality and operations management, finance and accounting, and personal productivity skills.



SME Toolkit: SME Toolkit is IFC's online resource for small and medium enterprises, offering an extensive array of business tools and advice. The Toolkit provides how-to articles, business forms, and online business training, and features a global small business directory, networking via social media, SMS updates, and more. Available in 17 languages, SME Toolkit is used annually by more than 5 million visitors in over 40 developing countries and has reached nearly 20 million people since 2002.



IFC works with farmers to build skills that improve productivity by:


  • Partnering with large firms and financial institutions to build the technical skills that increase farm output and make smallholder farms more efficient so they can better attract bank financing
  • Demonstrating best practices and the effective use of information and communications technologies





Agribusinesses Highlight Potential for Growth, Despite Impact of Climate Change (October 2013)


Following yet another catastrophic flood in Cambodia's Mekong region that devastated entire crops and farms, affecting the lives of 80,000 families, multinational and Asian companies met in Siem Reap to identify ways of establishing sustainable agribusiness practices and inclusive supply chains in the region.  A two-day roundtable on agribusiness held in October was co-hosted by IFC and the Private Sector Window of the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) with more than 150 participants. More »


Sustainable Agribusiness: Connecting Africa's Smallholders to Markets (June 4-6, 2013)

IFC’s Sustainable Business Advisory in Africa program organizes a conference on Sustainable Agribusiness in Nairobi on June 4-6, 2013. The event brings together the private sector, donors, civil society, and financial institutions to discuss how to support smallholder farmers and address climate change in Africa. Food security will also be one of the main themes discussed at the conference, which will include panels on how to invest in sustainable supply chains in Africa. IFC is also pleased to announce that This is Africa, a publication of the Financial Times, will be its media partner at the event. More »


Expanding Supply Chains Through Smallholder Engagement (December 4-5, 2012)

On December 4-5, 2012, IFC's Farmer and SME Training team hosted a roundtable discussion among global private sector actors and development stakeholders on the experiences and challenges of integrating smallholder farmers into supply chains. The event, attended by companies such as ABN-Amro, Bayer, ECOM, Geotraceability, Grow Cocoa, Standard Bank, Starbucks, Syngenta, UTZ and Walmart, highlighted solutions for conveying training, finance, and inputs to smallholder farmers. More »





Farmer and SME Training Resources


Fact Sheet | Project Examples | Publications | Videos





Alan David Johnson | +1 (202) 458-9291 (Washington, DC, USA) |
John Kellenberg | +1 (202) 458-2584 (Washington, DC, USA) |


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