Our Work

African Growth and Opportunity Act +


This program developed Ethiopia’s export capacity to the United States and other international markets by helping small and medium enterprises (SME) understand and benefit from the incentives offered by the African Growth and Opportunity Act.

AGOA+ delivered firm-level assistance to companies to take advantage of AGOA trade opportunities through a range of services, from assistance with international trade certifications (organic, Fair Trade, etc.) and participation in trade shows and buyers’ missions to technical and managerial support to meet quality standards and increase productivity.

IESC leveraged existing business membership organizations and government agencies in Ethiopia and strengthened them to better support the private sector.

IESC expanded financing opportunities for women entrepreneurs and attracted Ethiopian diaspora investment. IESC trained and vetted banks that offered USAID loan guarantees and extended the guaranteed loans to women entrepreneurs.

Activities And Approaches

The program’s approach to accelerating Ethiopian exports was built on a multi-pronged market-linkage approach.


  • $1 spent by the program produced a $4.57 return in export trade
  • 5,600+ new jobs were created
  • 20% of business membership organizations in Ethiopia in benefited from AGOA+
  • ~$6.5 million in private finance was mobilized for women- and diaspora-owned businesses

Funder: USAID through the Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance
Project Duration: 2005-2011
Award: $3.4 million


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