IESC Celebrates Successful Launch of Liberia Investing for Business Expansion Program
August 22, 2012 marked the successful launch of the USAID-funded Liberia Investing for Business Expansion (IBEX) Program, implemented by IESC as the lead organization under the Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance (VEGA). Begun in June 2012, IBEX facilitates improved access to credit and business development for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Liberia’s agricultural and renewable energy sectors.
Hosted by IESC’s Monrovia-based field team, the launch event was attended by a number of program stakeholders and interested community members and included remarks by the USAID-Liberia Mission Director, Ms. Patricia Rader, along with those of her USAID colleagues, Mr. Justin Prud’homme and Mr. Michael Nicholson. The IESC team, led by the program’s Chief of Party, Ms. Watchen Harris Bruce, presented attendees a well-received overview of the program’s thematic components.
Developed to support Liberia’s broader national economic development goals, IBEX seeks to strengthen the lending environment through improved risk management, to support the lending process and to provide outreach specifically designed to reduce the risks and costs traditionally associated with lending to the agriculture and renewable energy sectors. The program is implemented through IESC’s core staff, volunteer technical experts and partner organization, Opportunities Industrialization Centers International (OICI) with activities concentrated in three components: providing technical assistance and capacity building support to SMEs, providing technical assistance and capacity building support to banks, and fostering sustainability of program activities by strengthening local business support organizations.