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MIF approves $1.3 million to support small and medium-sized software enterprises in Brazil

The Multilateral Investment Fund announced today the approval of a $1,300,000 grant for a technical cooperation program to help small and medium-sized software enterprises  in Brazil improve their competitiveness by introducing a quality standard in software development geared towards smaller software businesses, internationalization and localization techniques and business linkages.

The program will be in charge of the Association for the Promotion of Brazilian Software Excellence (Softex) and will seek to make software enterprises more competitive in Brazil and elsewhere in Latin America. Local counterpart financing provided by Softex will total $1,650,000.

The initiative will benefit 3,000 software companies through the dissemination of project tools. Two hundred and twenty small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will receive support to improve product quality and 315 specialists will be trained, 40 of them in Argentina and Chile. More than 50 institutions involved in quality enhancement, product internationalization and business partnerships will also benefit, and five export consortia are expected to be generated.

The project will allow to demonstrate and implement, on a significant scale, the merits of the new quality certification system Melhoria de Processo do Software Brasileiro (MPS Br) that was developed by Softex and other institutions. The dissemination of the quality system to two other countries, Argentina and Chile, will set the basis for a region-wide certification system.

“Brazilian companies’ potential for expansion into international markets shows three major strengths: a highly skilled human capital, a strong regulatory framework and experienced firms,” said team leader Antonio Ca’Zorzi. “But as the software industry becomes increasingly global, the absence of recognized quality standards that SMEs can afford limits the supply of products. Software SMEs in Brazil and the region are hard-pressed to stay in the market.”

“Having two other countries accompanying Brazil in this experience sets the stage for promoting partnerships as well as a common space among firms in the different countries involved,” Ca’Zorzi added. “Incorporating quality into SME software production processes and supporting exports of these firms’ products are strategic priorities.”

The Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) is an autonomous fund, administered by the Inter-American Development Bank, that provides grants, investments and loans to promote private sector growth, labor force training and small enterprise modernization in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The project was jointly developed by the IDB’s MIF and the Information and Communication Technology for Development Division (SDS-ICT), which facilitates innovative information technology applications for development programs.

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