The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, has agreed a grant of US$111,000 for the Chamber of Commerce of Chad to support entrepreneurship capacity building for micro, small and medium businesses in the country.

The Association Franaise des Volontaires du Progrès (French Association of Volunteers for Progress) will also join the partnership by playing a lead role in day-to-day management of the training facility, which will be located in N ‘Djamena.

Chad’s private sector is still underdeveloped. It comprises less than 400 small and medium enterprises and a multitude of small informal units focused on agro-industry, building materials, and public works. Modern manufacturing activity is embryonic and dominated by a limited number of public and some private enterprises with majority foreign capital whose activities are concentrated in cotton processing and sugar cane.

The skill levels and capacity of small businesses to perform better and become more competitive in the country’s nascent oil economy remain low.

The Entrepreneurship Capacity Building Program aims to develop and strengthen enterprises and align entrepreneurs with the potential to participate in new and existing economic activities in Chad. Using a cadre of highly qualified local officers, the programme will develop the capacity of local micro and small enterprises by training and providing them with business support.

A secondary goal will be to expand the capacity of local trainers to continue their assistance beyond IFC’s support to the program. Entrepreneurship capacity building is a major cornerstone of IFC’s SME development effort in Chad.

Created in 1963, the Association Franaise des Volontaires du Progrès offers young people the opportunity of working with people of other countries by contributing personally and taking part, alongside such peoples and – on a voluntary basis – by participating in programs aligning economic and human development. In the countries in which it operates, the AFVP supports and reinforces the initiatives of local civil societies.

Volunteers intervene in the capacity of experts, organisers and mediators, very often in partnership with national executives.