Enterprise Development Program: Central Asia
As a subcontractor to the Pragma Corporation, CDC provides support to USAID’s Enterprise Development Program in the Central Asian republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. CDC volunteer advisors (VAs) have assisted this project primarily in the area of business advisory services. CDC VAs work closely with and mentor local staff and strengthen local business capacity through technical assistance and training. Specific responsibilities of VAs and MBA Enterprise Corps Volunteers (MBAEC) have included: conducting initial company assessments in order to determine the needs of specific SMEs and selecting companies for further client relations; developing customized courses to meet specific client needs for business training; creating strategic assistance plans for clients and working with them to achieve desired goals (i.e. increased production volume, lower production costs, improved operating efficiency, enhanced use of technology, access to working capital and improvements in quality).
VAs and the MBAEC Volunteers have met with government officials, private businesses, lending agencies and educational institutions to better understand the environment in which businesses operate. They have designed assessment tools to evaluate the training needs of small and medium size businesses for the purpose of creating seminars to address those needs. They have worked with oblast government officials to evaluate the process of starting-up and operating a business vis-à-vis government oversight and have developed an investor “road map” to conduct process improvement workshops with selected government officials.