Having the right tools can greatly enhance one's skills as a small-business owner.
And thanks to the specialized SME Toolkit from IBM ( IBM) and IFC , the private sector of the World Bank, women and minority business owners now have an even better chance for success. IBM has geared the recently relaunched site toward women and minorities in particular, as these groups have traditionally had more obstacles to business opportunities. The toolkit's advisory board is well equipped to continue facing this challenge: Members of the Women Presidents' Organization , The Native American Chamber of Commerce and the New York State African American Chamber of Commerce all serve on it, contributing content, tools, services and links to their membership bases. By working closely with organizations such as these, IBM has greatly increased the chances to reach women and minority business owners. "This truly is one-stop shopping for small businesses and it levels the playing field," says Stanley Litow, IBM vice president of corporate affairs and citizenship. "We know the tools that large businesses use ... and we know the role technology can play in leading to growth. Now, every business can have the same chance to succeed. It's vitally important that we help small businesses, who are the major employers and growth engines in developing markets."
The SME Toolkit offers access to articles and links on topics ranging from budgeting, recruiting employees and project management to telecommunications and email and Web marketing.