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Saturday, April 01, 2006 

March 29, 2006

IDB Fund approves $10 million grant for information and communication technology innovation program

Will promote e-business and small and medium-sized enterprise development
The Inter-American Development Bank’s Multilateral Investment Fund announced today the approval of a $10 million grant to support an information and communication technology (ICT) program for e-business and small and medium-sized enterprise development.

The MIF will oversee the program, known as ICT4BUS-II, that will consist of individual pilot projects executed by selected institutions in Latin America and the Caribbean with the objective of improving the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the region by expanding their access to innovative ICT solutions and services.

A call for proposals will be issued in June 2006. Institutions involved in SME business development services or ICT development - including trade associations, universities, chambers of commerce, business development and research centers - will be able to participate and eventually act as executing agencies for the projects. Over 2,400 SMEs are expected to participate in the pilot projects, and a larger number of companies will also benefit from the new services and solutions after the demonstration stage is completed.

“The purpose of this program is to test and implement innovative ICT solutions and services that will enhance efficiency and market outreach at the enterprise level and within business clusters and supply chains,” said MIF Team Leader Antonio Ca’ Zorzi. “We will achieve this by selecting and funding pilot projects, by creating a technology transfer facility and by disseminating the results.”

“ICT’s were a crucial factor in the productivity surge that developed countries have experienced since the 1990s,” added Ca’ Zorzi. “SMEs can now access software and services that until recently were the exclusive domain of large firms. This is a challenge and a unique opportunity for small and medium-sized enterprises in the region.”

This program is the second known as ICT4BUS developed by the MIF to improve small and medium-sized enterprise competitiveness through ICT. It will expand and incorporate the experience of the first program approved in July 2002, supported by $5 million in grants, which demonstrated new possibilities in a real business environment, particularly in the areas of value chain integration, workplace productivity and efficiency and market penetration.

The Multilateral Investment Fund is an autonomous fund, administered by the IDB. It provides grants, investments and loans to promote private sector growth, labor force training and small enterprise modernization in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Also available in: Español


MIF project Team Leader
Antonio Ca’ Zorzi at antonioca@iadb.org.


Press Contact
Christina MacCulloch
(202) 623-1718

© 2006 Inter-American Development Bank. All rights reserved.

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