In a recent issue of its Frontlines magazine, focused on Ethiopia and Health, USAID highlights the impact of the VEGA AGOA+ program on the livelihood of an Ethiopian entrepreneur. Implemented by IESC, VEGA’s AGOA+ program undertook three primary activities: (1) trade capacity building and export promotion, (2) institutional strengthening for Business Membership Organizations (BMOs) and government agencies and (3) and promoting access to finance – first through investment finance from the Diaspora and later loan finance through USAID’s DCA loan guarantee program.
Particular focus was placed on support to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), women entrepreneurs and Diaspora investors.
USAID’s loan guarantee allowed local Ethiopian banks who participated in the program to provide credit to entrepreneurs looking to expand their business. One of those loans was given to Abebaw Gessese, an Ethiopian entrepreneur in the poultry business. With a five-year, $132,000 loan received in 2007, Gessese was able to increase his output and start producing his own inputs, such as chicken feed, directly on the farm.
Today, his farm produces over 5 million eggs and 60,000 broiler chickens annually, providing a much-needed affordable source of protein for local customers. Due to increased production at his farm, Gessese expanded the number of his employees from 20 in 2007 to 50 today.
In all, VEGA’s AGOA+ program’s Diaspora Direct Investment component and DCA loan guarantee mobilized nearly USD 6.5 million in private finance through loans extended to 22 women and 36 Diaspora-owned businesses. The latter translated into approximately 1,053 new jobs.
To read more about Abebaw Gessese’s story read the full article HERE.