Micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) stimulate private ownership and contribute to employment and broad-based economic growth. We invite you to explore Banyan Global's enterprise development projects.
Banyan Global is the prime contractor to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)/Georgia to manage the longitudinal impact evaluation of the New Economic Opportunities (NEO) project. NEO aims to increase rural incomes, reduce poverty levels, improve food security, and address critical, small-scale household and agricultural water constraints in targeted communities. NEO also targets internally displaced persons (IDP) to sustainably maintain their households and assist communities distressed by natural or other disasters. Banyan Global is leading an evaluation of NEO in consortium with Counterpart International and the United Nations Association of Georgia. During the next three years, the evaluation team will measure NEO's effectiveness and provide project implementers with data to help direct resources to high-impact interventions. The team will employ a mixed-methods evaluation, utilizing a combination of quantitative and qualitative techniques to answer questions related to NEO's community-level impact. The NEO evaluation will generate important knowledge about economic-growth programming: what has worked, what has not worked, and why. This learning will inform USAID decision-makers and project designers to refine and improve future interventions. The NEO project evaluation is part of a new evaluation trend within USAID to hire third-party experts to assess ongoing projects as a means of identifying elements of project effectiveness and guiding future resource allocations.
Banyan Global is a subcontractor to Abt Associates on E-ATP in West Africa. The project facilitates expanded intraregional trade of staple commodities from surplus to deficit areas of West Africa by strengthening selected value chains. The project works in Ghana, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali, and Senegal. Banyan Global is responsible for the gender mainstreaming component of E-ATP. We are supporting the project to integrate gender equity considerations into value chain analysis and value chain development interventions, advance policy reform initiatives, facilitate market information and financial services, and integrate gender mainstreaming into the capacity building of institutional partners.
ASMED is one of the largest and most significant enterprise development projects aimed at supporting the micro, small, and medium enterprise (MSME) sector to create jobs and opportunities in post-war Afghanistan. ASMED is composed of the following components: market information, business-development and management skills, business associations, global development alliances and grants, and human capacity building. As a subcontractor to DAI, Banyan Global provides a full-time monitoring and evaluation specialist who monitors and reports on the results and impact of project activities. In addition Banyan Global provides input to the project’s core technical areas. Banyan Global supported a special research initiative to measure the impact of the project on generating employment. Banyan Global also provided short-term advisory work to strengthen business-development services, contribute to research and impact assessments, and improve linkages with financial-services providers. In late 2008 Banyan Global fielded a short-term training specialist who worked with local BDS firms to revise and develop new materials for an accounting and bookkeeping course targeting MSMEs financed by the First Microfinance Bank of Afghanistan. After piloting the course, the trainer worked closely with business-development service firms to revise course materials and develop a plan for rolling out the course to other financial institutions in Afghanistan. In 2009 we provided short-term technical assistance focusing on access to finance for potential clients at the bottom of the pyramid, as well as technical support and capacity building to the Afghan Bankers’ Association.
In July 2009 Banyan Global was awarded one of five grants under USAID’s GUC entitled Strengthening Evaluation and Assessment of Poverty and Conflict/Fragility Interventions. The overall project advances best practices in economic growth and conflict mitigation by providing tools and methodologies for practitioners to measure the impact of economic opportunity interventions on poverty and conflict. Under this grant Banyan Global is designing a monitoring and evaluation framework to measure the impact of enterprise-development and employment-generation programs on conflict and poverty at the household and community levels. Banyan Global is designing a baseline and final assessment tool and broader research methodology to assess the impact of entrepreneurship and enterprise-development support on the employees of supported enterprises, particularly in relation to poverty and conflict. The methodology is being designed around an entrepreneurship-support program in Afghanistan implemented by the Business Council for Peace, which supports women entrepreneurs in conflict and post-conflict countries. Our focus on impacts at the employee level will provide a broader picture of the diffused impact of enterprise-development activities, while making the framework relevant to a broad range of early economic recovery interventions, which often focus on employment generation.
Banyan Global is providing ongoing short-term technical support to the DAI-led IDEA-NEW project in Afghanistan. Banyan Global provides technical and capacity-building assistance to the project’s Gender and Microenterprise (GME) Unit, which supports and strengthens women’s economic activities in Afghanistan. Banyan Global is focused on integrating the GME Unit’s activities into IDEA-NEW’s broader value chain and private-sector development initiatives by assessing the roles of women in high potential rural value chains and directing project support towards engaging women in key functions. Banyan Global also is providing ongoing capacity-building support to the GME team to incorporate women’s income-generating activities into a sustainable economic growth strategy.
ACED builds the capacity of the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA) and the Aqaba Development Corporation (ADC) in service provision, regulation, policy, planning, and advocacy. In addition the project facilitates skills development for local micro, small, and medium enterprise owners to maximize and equitably disperse the benefits from the investments coming into ASEZA. It also prepares citizens living in Aqaba to participate in decision-making in the zone and improve access to social infrastructure and the benefits of economic growth. Banyan Global is a subcontractor to AECOM to support the project’s core technical and crosscutting activities. Banyan Global ensured gender integration in all program activities and developed a gender statement and policy to be used by the project and key partners, including ASEZA and ACED. Banyan Global also provided a preliminary implementation plan that included recommendations on how ASEZA, ADC, and other stakeholders could implement the gender statement. Banyan Global has expanded its role in ACED to support core technical areas; most recently it conducted a labor market analysis aimed at identifying and targeting the gap between the labor needs for a successful investment strategy in Aqaba and the skills presented by the available human resources. This labor market analysis involved managing a team of local consultants in undertaking primary and secondary labor market research focused on local and national labor market trends in relation to the Aqaba economy.
The United States Agency for International Development’s RTLC project fosters economic growth and improves the competitiveness of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan by upgrading the conditions for international and cross-border trade and transit. The project helps host governments and the private sector to pursue and capitalize on the advantages of greater regional and global economic integration. Activities include targeted support for World Trade Organization accession and post-accession compliance; the reduction of trade barriers relating to transport, transit, border crossing, and customs clearance; and support for regional cooperation for data collection and sharing, including to increase the access of small and medium enterprises to market information within and beyond the region. As a subcontractor to AECOM, Banyan Global supports gender mainstreaming on the project. We provided technical oversight on research on female shuttle traders. Banyan Global designed research tools, including focus groups and survey instruments, and developed a research methodology tailored to the context of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. In addition Banyan Global conducted training and capacity building for nongovernmental organizations selected to implement the research. Banyan Global will continue to explore the impact of trade liberalization on micro, small, and medium enterprises, and women in particular, in the region.
In partnership with ACDI/VOCA, Banyan Global will help USAID explore how micro, small, and medium enterprises can contribute to, participate in, and benefit from competitive value chains and clusters. In addition to leading the development of the value chain approach to the delivery of health services in the private sector, Banyan Global contribute to assessing the role and applicability of the value chain method in conflict-affected environments and adapting it accordingly. Banyan Global may also develop conduct trainings to support dissemination and project implementation.
Banking on Health was a five-year global project that sought to increase access to finance in the private health sector. Banyan Global was a subcontractor to Abt Associates and the technical lead. The project was funded through the United States Agency for International Development’s Private Sector Program indefinite-quantity contract. Banyan Global worked with local financial institutions, including commercial banks and microfinance institutions, to increase lending through bank training, loan product development, market research, and Development Credit Authority guarantees. The Banyan Global team also strengthened the creditworthiness of private health care providers by facilitating access to business-development services and improving market linkages. In addition, Banyan Global managed the Summa Foundation, a not-for-profit investment fund that provided financing to private health care providers. The project worked in 12 countries: Nicaragua, Peru, the Philippines, Jordan, Romania, Georgia, Uganda, Zambia, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Ghana, and Kenya.
In collaboration with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Banyan Global conducted a global inventory of access-to-finance initiatives. Our team identified financial products, services, and initiatives throughout the developing world to increase women business owners' access to finance.
Working with the International Finance Corporation's (IFC) Cairo-based Private Enterprise Partnership-Middle East and North Africa (PEP-MENA) initiative, Banyan Global conducted a mapping study of the Egyptian market. We explored obstacles to women's entrepreneurship and recommended areas for future program development. Our team also developed a manual and tools for market research on gender and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) for use in similar IFC studies in the region.