IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, will provide a package of financial products and advisory services to D Vu Chocolat & Cafs, a Mozambican confectionary company. The project aims to create jobs and reduce poverty in the country by supporting smaller businesses. It is the third under the Mozambique SME Initiative, a donor-funded program in partnership with the governments of Switzerland and Finland.

IFC will provide the local currency equivalent of US$280,000 in risk capital financing and US$80,000 worth of advisory services to the company. D Vu Chocolat will use the assistance to automate its labour-intensive operations so that it can increase production volumes and take advantage of growing local demand. The company’s 22 employees of which 19 are women will all be trained on the new automated systems.

“Small businesses account for a substantial portion of economic activity in Mozambique, and supporting them is a central part of IFC’s strategy to promote development”, said Thierry Tannoh, IFC’s director for Sub-Saharan Africa. “The Mozambique SME Initiative demonstrates IFC’s emphasis on finding creative solutions that increase access to finance and advisory support for SMEs in Africa.”

D Vu Chocolat is a family-owned company launched in 2002 to provide locally-made quality chocolate products to the domestic market at a lower price than imports.

Managed from IFC’s Maputo office, the Mozambique SME Initiative is a US$12mn IFC pilot programme supported by the Swiss and Finnish governments. It provides financing and advisory services to small and medium companies in Mozambique with the aim of creating a more viable private sector and attracting investors to the country’s small business sector.