Our Work

Business Enabling Environment

Businesses do not exist in a vacuum. We look at economic health holistically, recognizing that businesses are affected by regulations, policies, trade agreements, public infrastructure, and cultural norms. We advocate to eliminate unnecessary or redundant laws and regulations, remove obstacles to trade, and reduce other hurdles small and medium enterprises face. We help strengthen industry associations and support public-private dialogue. We also share updated research and data for evidence-based decisions.

Approach and Expertise

IESC seeks to strengthen the business enabling framework by eliminating unnecessary or redundant laws and regulations, removing obstacles to trade and small and medium enterprise (SME) growth. Ultimately, we seek to improve both macro- and micro-economic policy to empower businesses.

  • We work within key public agencies to revise regulations—with quick fixes for urgent issues and permanent systems for enacting new regulations.
  • To stimulate trade, we align the local policy framework with international trade agreements and market standards so that SMEs can more easily reach new markets.
  • We strengthen industry associations to address regulatory issues and develop an advocacy agenda that represents their needs and interests.
  • We create transparency and accountability through public-private dialogue.
  • We promote accurate research and good data. We support policy “thinktanks” to conduct high-quality analysis for evidence-based policies and decision-making.

Our Work in Action

In Tanzania, we have developed a competitiveness index and a priority setting tool for policy reform to help district and local governments to design, pass, and implement an better policy framework for business growth.

In Ghana, we collaborate with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to create and put in place a national traceability system for produce destined for export. We foster ongoing public-private dialogue to determine how the new system will operate in the regulatory environment.

In Afghanistan, we collaborate with several relevant ministries to draft detailed policy reform agendas and regulatory guidelines for industries that are critical to the economy.

Our Impact:


Policy recommendations made to local governments in Tanzania since 2016.


Ethiopian SMEs educated on the African Growth and Opportunities Act, trade legislation that encourages exports to the U.S. from Sub-Saharan African companies.


Regulations that constrain business in Afghanistan addressed by IESC

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