Bosnia-Herzegovina Workforce and Higher Access to Markets
Bosnia is home to a growing number of small and medium enterprises that are beginning to supply sophisticated European Union customers. Despite this growth, the economy is still not generating enough jobs. The Workforce and Higher Access to Markets Activity will stimulate job creation by advancing Bosnia’s trade integration with and expansion into EU and regional markets. The program will improve the capacity of high-growth small and medium enterprises through grants that will improve the workforce, increase market access, and improve product quality and use of new technology. This activity aims to increase exports by 30 percent at enterprises receiving asssistance and create about 1,500 new jobs, half of which are for youth and 20 percent are for women.
- 3-year program, 2017-2020
- $3.8 million total award
- Funded by USAID through Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance
- Partners: IESC* and ENOVA.
Tanzania Enabling Growth Through Investment and Enterprise
Tanzania has one of the fastest growing economies in the world. With nearly 70 percent of the country’s labor force and a quarter of its GDP tied to agriculture, there is great potential to stimulate inclusive, broad-based economic growth through support to agriculture. The Enabling Growth through Investment and Enterprise Program seeks to streamline many of the regulatory, informational, and financial channels that encourage domestic and foreign investment in the southern agricultural regions of Mbeya, Morogoro, and Iringa, as well as in Zanzibar. The program’s focus is at the district level, using a broad-based approach that works with local government authorities, private sector associations, business development services providers, financial institutions, and micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Ghana Improving Food Safety Systems Project
This project aims to improve access to markets for Ghana’s farmers by strengthening the food safety compliance system for Ghanaian fruits and vegetables. The project builds public and private sector collaboration to improve productivity and profitability in the agricultural sector for increased exports. IESC supports the development of a strong traceability system to identify when and where food safety and quality problems are introduced—at growing, harvesting, processing, or packaging. Drawing on IESC’s robust registry of about 7,000 highly skilled volunteer experts, IESC works with the Ghanaian government to strengthen the food safety, starting with mangoes and chilies, and trains private exporters and farmers on good agricultural practices.
Dominican Republic Exporting Quality and Safety Program
Through the Dominican Republic Exporting Quality and Safety Program, IESC is helping to increase productivity and sales for domestic and export markets of high-value fruits and vegetables. Using a “field to fork” approach, this program provides technical assistance all along the value chain, from producers to packinghouses to exporters. The program will provide training on improved technologies and farm, land, and water resource management. These capacity-building efforts will better enable producer groups, cooperatives, and their members to meet international standards for safety, quality, and labeling. Through a combination of expanded traceability systems and intensive farmer training, the program ensures that food products being exported from the Dominican Republic are grown, harvested, and handled under safe and transparent conditions.
Assistance in Building Afghanistan by Developing Enterprises Program
Small and medium enterprises are a key economic driver of Afghanistan’s development. They make up about 75 percent of the labor force and generate more than 50 percent of GDP. However, Afghan-produced goods meet only a fraction of local demand, and export trade is lackluster at best. The Assistance in Building Afghanistan by Developing Enterprises (ABADE) Program works principally with the private sector to strengthen the productivity of enterprises for sustained growth and job creation. ABADE assists small and medium enterprises with better planning, appropriate equipment and technologies, better management skills and business specific skills, innovative-supporting alliances, and by facilitating a business environment that is conducive to growth. ABADE focuses particularly on activities that foster business innovation, expand the role of women and youth in business, and promote growth that benefits the poor. This is USAID's flagship enterprise development initiative in Afghanistan. To learn more, visit the ABADE website.
Tunisia Small and Medium Enterprise Development Program
The Tunisia Small and Medium Enterprise Development Program worked to strengthen Tunisia’s economic competitiveness and its prospects for sustained growth by promoting greater involvement of small and medium enterprises in trade and investment related activities. The program had two main objectives: to support small business development centers in Tunisia and provide technical assistance to export-ready or near export-ready businesses in the organic food, textile and clothing, and hospitality sectors.
Kazakhstan Business Connections Project
The Kazakhstan Business Connections Project was designed to build the capacity and competitiveness of Kazakhstani small and medium enterprises by facilitating business connections between Kazakhstani enterprises and the U.S. The program had three distinct components: training, business development tours to the U.S., and expanding an online resource for Kazakh businesses and entrepreneurs. IESC developed curricula and delivered trainings at a Kazakh academic institute on a variety of cross-cutting business topics. IESC also led a series of business development tours to the U.S. for Kazakh delegations in the agriculture, IT, healthcare, food processing, and transportation logistics sectors. The business development tours included industry specific training, business meetings, roundtable seminars, and participation in trade shows. IESC also helped to redesign and expand the JSC Entrepreneurship Development Fund website and engage in outreach efforts to drive traffic to this important resource for business-related training material and other relevant information for Kazakh businesses and entrepreneurs. In 2012-2013, 13 Kazakhstani companies signed contracts with American counterparts valued at approximately $12 million.
- 4-year program, 2011-2014
- $5.1 million total award
- Funded by USAID through the Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance
- Partners: IESC,* CNFA, Ministry of Regional Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Kazakhstani Entrepreneurship Development Fund
African Growth and Opportunities Act Program in Ethiopia
IESC facilitated trade-led job creation in Ethiopia through the Africa Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA+) program, an export promotion program under the broader AGOA trade initiative. IESC worked in partnership with the private sector, civil society organizations and the Government of Ethiopia to create and strengthen business linkages between Ethiopian businesses and the diaspora community in the U.S. It also increased Ethiopian exports to the U.S. by holding and participating in a series of trade and reverse trade missions for products with a competitive advantage; establishing and assisting the American Chamber of Commerce in Ethiopia; and facilitating diaspora investment in Ethiopia.
Afghanistan Small and Medium Enterprise Development Project
Through the Afghanistan Small and Medium Enterprise Development (ASMED) Project, IESC worked to combat key impediments and non-governmental constraints to private sector growth. The project provided technical and financial support to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and the organizations that support them throughout Afghanistan in order to improve the quantity and quality of market information and support business association development. It also established private-public investment partnerships, built the capacity of future business leaders through professional internships, and advanced the business development service sector. Through long-term staff and short-term expert volunteers and consultants, IESC conducted market analyses of promising industry sectors and increased the capacity of Afghan SMEs to access markets. IESC was instrumental in advancing Afghanistan’s marble sector, improving operations, creating market linkages and promoting the Afghan brand in the international arena.
- 6-year program, 2006-2012
- $2.1 million total award
- Funded by USAID
- Partners: DAI,* IESC
Facilitating Economic Growth in Sri Lanka
The Facilitating Economic Growth Program (FEG) was focused on the economic revitalization of conflict-affected, strategic areas in Sri Lanka. The program provided technical services that supported not only USAID’s economic growth objectives, but also other current USAID projects operating in Sri Lanka. The IESC-led team provided direct, targeted assistance to enterprises, agribusinesses, and business associations, NGOs, and their workforces to increase business opportunities and private sector employment. IESC managed multiple sub-awards with the other members of the implementing team and led the program’s work in SME-related technical assistance, workforce development, and access to finance.