Improving Economies for Stronger Communities (IESC)
2000 M Street NW
Washington, DC 20036
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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.
Support to SMEs
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.
Stronger business membership organizations and government agencies
IESC leveraged existing business membership organizations and government agencies in Ethiopia and strengthened them to better support the private sector.
Broader access to finance
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.
The program’s approach to accelerating Ethiopian exports was built on a multi-pronged market-linkage approach.
Funder: USAID through the Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance
Project Duration: 2005-2011
Award: $3.4 million