IESC

 

Where We Work: Europe

 

Albania

IESC has been active in Albania since 1991. Our projects include two USAID cooperative agreements, both primed by IESC. IESC was the prime implementing organization of the $28 million USAID BDS II umbrella program, under which it implemented the Global Trade & Technology Network program. It operated in value chains including agriculture, health, environment and energy and focused on activities related to small medium enterprise (SME) development, information communications, technology development, trade, and competitiveness. The program helped companies to increase linkages with U.S. and other regional or international partners, resulting in viable investment opportunities and/or strategic alliances. IESC has also delivered a total of 42 technical assistance consultancies in Albania in areas such as trade promotion, investment, association strengthening, agribusiness, infrastructure, transportation, microfinance, automotive, government, education, and media.

Armenia

IESC has implemented both USAID and UNDP projects in Armenia starting in 1993. The most recent project was a UNDP Community Based Tourism Development Project that focused on increasing community involvement in facilitation of the tourism industry in Ijevan and Sisjan. This project strengthened tourism infrastructure, enhanced regional and local capacities for provision of tourism services, and improved information exchange mechanisms on tourism opportunities. Over the course of its history in Armenia, IESC has delivered a total of 342 technical assistance consultancies in a variety of value chains, including information technology, tourism, software design, jewelry/gemstone processing, textiles, and leather goods

Belarus

IESC was one of the first non-governmental organizations to put staff on the ground in Belarus after the country became newly independent from the former Soviet Union. Our first activity in the country began in 1994 with the Defense Nuclear Threat Reduction Agency program funded by the US Department of Defense, for which IESC was the prime implementing organization. IESC implemented 146 technical assistance/training activities in Belarus through this program as well as research studies and business linkage support. Services covered focus areas such as privatization/defense conversion, investment promotion, joint ventures, and institution strengthening (both private and public). These activities built the confidence, productivity, and expertise of local firms to internationalize their activities. In addition to strengthening local institutions, IESC provided low-cost, practical business information on entering US markets, developing exports and new products, and generating joint venture partner opportunities.

Bosnia

IESC began working in 1997 and has been both the prime and sub implementing organization for USAID programs. As part of the $26 million BDS II umbrella program managed by IESC, we implemented the Global Technology Network program.  Bosnia was one of the countries that housed a program representative office and delivered services that included global trade facilitation (especially intra-regional trade) and technology transfer. IESC worked in collaboration with USAID’s Eurasian-American Partnership for Environmentally Sustainable Economies (EcoLinks) program, which focused on the transfer of environmental technologies to Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The program resulted in 160 deals in the region for businesses in value chains including agribusiness, health, energy and environment, ICT, and others. Apart from that program,  IESC provided technical assistance and completed 926 performance improvement projects designed to help enterprises re-start and strengthen operations and establish initial viability and direction in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Bulgaria

IESC has worked on six USAID and USTDA programs in Bulgaria and delivered a total of 516 technical assistance consultancies there. Recently, IESC was the lead implementing organization of the USAID funded VEGA Business & Trade Development Program. the goal of that program was to mobilize innovative ideas and sound business practices to increase competitiveness, generate jobs, and develop sustainable mechanisms for the delivery of business services to the private sector through demand-driven cooperation. As a result of the program, assisted Business Support Organizations (BSOs) increased revenue and profitability by an average of 19%. The program also helped create 53 new jobs, 81% of which went to females, and sustained 287 jobs. Transactions resulting from business linkages amounted to $1 million and assisted BSOs gained over 400 new members.

In addition, IESC also managed a USAID funded Private Enterprise Development Bulgaria/FLAG program, which was a demand-driven and results-oriented private sector small medium enterprise (SME) trade and investment competitiveness program. We delivered integrated industry-specific assistance packages to encourage organizational change, improve business operations, and increase the competitiveness of SMEs. Client impacts included business linkages valued at almost $70 million; an increase in exports of over $110 million; an increase in sales of almost $145 million; and more than 4200 new jobs created, over 2900 of which were productive jobs for women. In addition, the program also accomplished an increase of over $140K in revenue from dues and services by assisted associations, as well as an increase of over $122K in revenues of targeted consulting firms. IESC ensured the availability of high-quality consulting services to the SME sector after the life of the project by creating a leave-behind entity, FLAG-APEX. FLAG-APEX is now a successful international apparel, knitwear and home furnishings buying agency and training firm. Other IESC projects in Bulgaria include Business Development Services II / Global Technology Network, Trading Regionally and Developing Expertise (TRADE) Network, and MBS Bulgaria.

Croatia

IESC’s efforts in Croatia began in 1990 with a series of technical assistance consultancies. IESC has since completed four programs with USAID funding, for which it was a prime implementing organization for one, and has delivered a total of 71 technical assistance consultancies in the country. The programs IESC implemented include the Business Development Services II / Global Trade & Technology Network (GTN), Croatia Enterprise Promotion , Strengthen Private Enterprises in Croatia and Montenegro / Flag Consortium, and the Trading Regionally and Developing Expertise (TRADE) Network. Through these efforts IESC has supported a number of sectors in Croatia, including tourism/travel/ hospitality, food processing, metal/ metallurgy, ICT, finance/ accounting, construction, quality standards, HVAC/ sanitation, equipment/machine tools, wood/wood products, real estate, advertising, agribusiness, electronics, rubber, engineering, plastic, and furniture.

Cypress

IESC’s activities in Cyprus began over 30 years ago with a series of individually funded technical assistance consultancies. Since then, IESC has implemented one prime USAID program. IESC has delivered a total of 30 technical assistance consultancies in Cyprus and engaged Diaspora in marketing, business development, trade/competitiveness, and financial services activities. IESC worked in a variety of sectors, with a focus on tourism and banking.

Czech Republic

IESC’s activities in Czech Republic began in 1991 with a series of technical assistance projects. IESC has implemented five USAID programs and has delivered a total of 235 technical assistance consultancies in the Czech Republic. IESC experts delivered technical assistance, training, and business services in a variety of sectors, including agribusiness, electronics, textiles/apparel, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, infrastructure/transportation, government, mining/metals, plastics, food processing, specialty foods, retail, education, manufacturing/light manufacturing, wood products, media, health, automotive, NGOs, banking, microfinance, and tourism.

Estonia

IESC’s efforts in Estonia began in 1992 and include two USAID funded programs as the prime implementer. Under the Public Administration Program, IESC’s efforts focused upon increasing the understanding of municipal officials regarding the role of the public sector in a market economy, developing an enabling business environment, and generating job creation through improvements/reforms of public and private sector policies. IESC provided technical assistance and training to help cities improve control over local government revenues and act persuasively and realistically with national government entities. It produced a feasibility study for the county council on how to create 500 new jobs over four years, refurbish housing, create new housing stock, and care for the elderly and aging. IESC trained over 200 government workers, union leaders, and businessmen to deal with a crippling unemployment problem in Narva, and developed a new customer-service orientation for the unemployed that provided services such as job training and alcohol abuse programming. In addition, IESC created a youth leadership training program with government leaders and US academics teaching in Estonia, as well as a new personnel system for the government. Prior to this program, IESC implemented the Multiple Business Services / Trade Investment Services program. Under that program, IESC delivered a total of 62 technical assistance consultancies in the country in a variety of sectors, including textiles/apparel, wood products, health, specialty foods, government, education, information technology, business services, glass, infrastructure/transportation, automotive, manufacturing, tourism/hospitality, banking/financial services, mining/metals, and microfinance.

Georgia

IESC has implemented four USAID-funded programs in Georgia. Most recently, IESC was a subcontractor under the Georgia Training for Employment Project (GTEP) with the responsibility of promoting public-private partnerships to improve vocational training and to build the capacity of the Vocational Education Centers (VECs). IESC was also the prime implementer of the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Support Project, a $9. 3 million USAID-funded program led by IESC that supported the growth and development of small- and medium-sized enterprises in the Republic of Georgia. IESC provided an array of services, events, workshops and technical assistance to support increased access to finance for SMEs, improve the business climate, and promote sustainable tourism development throughout Georgia. IESC contributed directly to the improved business environment for SMEs in Georgia by providing assistance to: (1) increase access to medium- and long-term financing; (2) encourage increased participation of Georgian businesses in international markets, through the adoption of internationally recognized self-certification standards; (3) develop advocacy skills in selected Georgian business associations in order to more effectively engage government at all levels on a variety of business issues; and (4) improve business skills, including training for youth and minorities.

Previous to these programs, IESC was a subcontractor under BearingPoint on the Georgia Economic Growth Initiative, leading the Business Association Strengthening and Increased Access to Finance subcomponents of the program. IESC was also the prime implementer of the Multiple Business Services Program, a regional program that included Georgia.

Hungary

IESC completed two USAID-funded programs and delivered a total of 378 technical assistance consultancies in Hungary. Activities were focused on Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) development in subject areas including product development, management, marketing, joint ventures, quality standards, and strategic planning. IESC also supported privatization efforts in the country, IESC also implemented the Global Trade and Technology Network program in Hungary, which helped companies to increase linkages with US and other regional or international partners, resulting in viable investment opportunities and strategic alliances. A prior IESC program in Hungary aimed to increase the competitiveness of local SMEs and to help them identify cross-border and international trade opportunities with Romania, Croatia, and Bulgaria in particular.

Kosovo

IESC implemented two programs with USAID funding in Kosovo since the 1990s, focused on small and medium enterprise (SME) development, primarily in agribusiness. The Global Trade and Technology Network (GTN) program, under a larger $28 million, umbrella program, served to foster trade linkages, strategic alliances, and investment opportunities between Kosovar SMEs and firms throughout the region. IESC was also a subcontractor on the Firm Level Assistance Group (FLAG) consortium, responsible for providing firm-level technical assistance to private sector business support associations and institutions, business consulting firms, and private enterprise associations.

Latvia

IESC’s activities in Latvia began in 1993 and includes one prime program under a USAID cooperative agreement focused upon institution strengthening and public policy reform. IESC efforts included institutional operation strengthening, budget system administration, regional development plans, legal system development, policy/facilities evaluation, and public management to public sector institutions such as the Ministry of Social Welfare, the Central Bank of Latvia, and the Board of Council of Deputies. IESC has also delivered a total of 62 technical assistance consultancies in the country in a variety of sectors including pharmaceuticals, microfinance, NGO strengthening, handicrafts, automotive, tourism, government, manufacturing, and electronics.

Lithuania

Under three USAID funded programs, IESC focused on improving Small Medium Enterprise (SME) development, public administration, management, and trade/competitiveness by delivering technical assistance, training, and business services. The $1 million Public Administration Program in Central & Eastern Europe helped create an Ethics Commission in Lithuania which helped municipal governments and associations strengthen policy processes supportive of private sector development. Another program with $2.4 million USAID funding established linkages between Lithuanian and US firms by leveraging the resources of the Lithuanian American Business Network (LABNET) and IESC’s Global Technology Network, through which 40 agreements were signed between local and foreign companies. The $2.7 million Multiple Business Services / Trade Investment Services in the Baltics also supported the development of a strong private sector in Lithuania.

Macedonia

In Macedonia, IESC has implemented four programs under USAID and World Bank funding. As a subcontractor on the USAID Macedonia Competitiveness Activity, IESC provided technical assistance to develop both sector and firm-level competitiveness strategies for the information technology, tourism, sheep cheese, and lamb sectors. In addition, IESC supported the I-LEAD Project under USAID’s Macedonia E-Biz program, whereby its role was to provide assistance and technology solutions to Macedonian firms. Among many beneficiaries was the Macedonian Tourism Portal “ExploringMacedonia.com”, which drew more than 15,000 visitors per month through implementation of IESC’s marketing plan.

Moldova

IESC’s activities in Moldova began in 1994 with a series of technical assistance consultancies. IESC has since implemented three programs with a combination of USAID and private donor funding, for which it was a prime implementing organization for all. IESC has implemented 57 technical assistance consultancies in the country. IESC experts delivered technical assistance, training, and business services in accounting (GAAP), banking, glass products, food processing, tourism/hospitality, chemicals, arts, education, advertising, electronics, aerospace, and agribusiness. IESC also evaluated investment opportunities in Moldova on behalf of the Western NIS Enterprise Fund (and later for Horizon Capital Advisors, LLC). These projects supported the Western NIS Enterprise Fund’s purpose of providing capital and management tools for restructuring and expansion of private enterprises.

Montenegro

IESC’s implemented its first program in Montenegro starting in the 1990s. It has completed a total of four programs with USAID funding, for which it was a prime implementing organization for one. Most recently, IESC was a subcontractor and a primary provider of technical assistance in sectors including tourism, agribusiness, and wood processing.

That program focused on providing policy, competitiveness, and direct company support through the removal of barriers to conducting business, while assisting industries and firms in developing strategies and institutions to enhance competitiveness. IESC experts provided technical assistance to individual firms and clusters in productivity enhancement, export development, industry competitiveness, adding value to product portfolios, and linking firms to international markets and suppliers. IESC also had a long-term tourism advisor as part of the program team, who helped assess the industry and develop strategies for improvement. He and other experts developed a plan for integrated tourism with the agricultural sector and offered other recommendations for improvement that resulted in the negotiations of the Montenegrin Ministry of Tourism’s tender of a Montenegrin group of resorts worth an estimate 100 million Euros. In agribusiness, IESC assessed the sector with the goal of increasing the value, quantity, and quality of agricultural exports from Montenegro, while assisting the government to create an institutional framework to support agriculture. IESC provided firm level assistance, workshops, partner identification, awareness raising among commercial banks, sector strategy development, supplier/buyer identification, linkage facilitation, and HACCP training.

Poland

IESC’s activities in Poland began over 30 years ago with a series of technical assistance consultancies as part of a USAID Core Grant. IESC delivered a total of 343 technical assistance consultancies in the country, in a variety of sectors including handicrafts, agribusiness, textiles/apparel, food processing, furniture, mining/metals, electronics/ICT, government, business services, NGOs, manufacturing, infrastructure/ transportation, paper/printing, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, retail, education, health, automotive, broadcast media, tourism/hospitality, banking, and microcredit/microfinance. IESC has also implemented five additional programs in Poland, all of which as the prime implementing organization. IESC implemented the IESC Solutions initiative, which was a client-funded spin-off of the IESC technical assistance program implemented under the USAID Core Grant. Under this initiative, IESC facilitated the development of mutually beneficial joint and co-ventures between companies in Poland and the US. IESC also implemented four USAID funded programs in Poland: the Global Trade and Technology Network program; the Multiple Business Services program; the Polish Management Development Services program; and the Public Administration Program in Central & Eastern Europe. The Global Trade and Technology Network program was an initiative under the larger $28 million Business Development Services II umbrella Cooperative Agreement. Under that program in Poland, IESC identified and marketed environmental business opportunities to interested US firms. IESC facilitated158 transactions amounting to $7.3 million across the region, including Poland. Under the Multiple Business Services program, IESC provided technical assistance to SMEs and government entities, and strengthened local institutions by offering direct training, management and organizational assistance. Under the Polish Management Development Services program, IESC provided training to newly privatized firms in basic business practices. The Public Administration Program in Central & Eastern Europe helped municipal governments and associations in Central and Eastern Europe strengthen policy processes supportive of private sector development and growth. In Poland, IESC trained public officials on the management of social safety nets, specifically social welfare services and economic planning in the cities of Walbrzych and Starogard.

Portugal

IESC’s activities in Portugal began in 1989 with a series of technical assistance consultancies under a core grant with USAID. In total, IESC implemented 10 technical assistance consultancies for small and medium enterprises in the country. Sectors of focus included chemicals/paint, textiles/apparel, food processing, automotive, printing, and securities. IESC partnered with local associations in conducting these consultancies in order to promote sustainability.

Serbia

IESC implemented the Global Trade & Technology Network (GTN) program in Serbia, as a part of the multi country $28 million USAID Business Development Services (BDS) II award. Under this program in Serbia, IESC provided diagnostic evaluations, strategic planning, hands-on technical assistance, and market research to qualified firms in sectors such as agriculture, health, environment, and energy. Additionally, IESC served as a subcontractor on the Community Revitalization for Democratic Action (CRDA) program and the Serbia Enterprise Development Program (SEDP). Under CRDA, IESC provided volunteer experts with specialization in business development, manufacturing, and municipal public administration. IESC’s actions helped create income-generating opportunities. Under SEDP IESC provided technical assistance to further SEDP goals of increasing high value exports, investment, sustainable employment, and productivity.

Slovakia

IESC was the prime implementer for USAID’s $1 million Public Administration Program in Central & Eastern Europe and USAID’s $2 million Central and Eastern Europe regional program. The Public Administration Program in Central & Eastern Europe helped municipal governments and associations strengthen policy processes in the Slovak Republic by providing training for diplomatic officials in democratic policies/procedures to form a full diplomatic corps. IESC provided volunteer experts that were long-time officers in the US diplomatic corps to train diplomats in Slovakia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Through the latter program IESC provided technical assistance using volunteer experts to build the capacity and productivity of more than 290 SMEs, to support privatization of state-owned enterprises, and to support nascent business support organizations.

Slovenia

IESC was the prime implementing organization for the $28 million USAID Business Development Services (BDS) II program, under which it implemented the Global Trade & Technology Network (GTN) program.  Under this program in Slovenia, IESC helped to increase the international competitiveness of SMEs by improving their technical and managerial capacity and by helping them prepare for investment, joint ventures, and other strategic alliances. IESC also provided diagnostic evaluations, strategic planning, hands-on technical assistance, and market research to firms in sectors including agriculture, health, environment, and energy. IESC has also implemented 11 technical assistance consultancies in the country.

Ukraine

Since 1998, IESC has delivered training, technical assistance, and business services in Ukraine to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in areas including production, management, purchasing, and to improve the strategic planning capabilities of numerous companies. In addition to serving as the prime implementing organization for seven USAID and private donor funded programs, IESC experts have implemented over 725 technical assistance consultancies in the country. Most recently, as the prime implementing organization for the Gillette Corporation funded Local Economic Development (LED) Program, IESC worked to empower local officials and citizens with the skills and vision needed to shape the economic futures of their communities from a local level. Nearly 9,000 people received support from these newly created offices and agencies through LED libraries, attendance at trade shows, and participation in study tours. Additionally, through the Alliance for Collaboration on Enterprise Development program, IESC and partners provided over 1,000 technical assistance consultancies to SMEs and business support organizations in Ukraine. Among the 570 SMEs assisted, sales increased by 27%, 2,000 jobs were created, $7.16 million in equity and debt financing was received, and 7 new associations were established.

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