International Business Development Services (BDS) growing Small Businesses in developing countries
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DAI under USAID Contract, 2015
Food and Enterprise Development (FED) Project
Women-Owned Enterprise Development Specialist supporting women’s agribusiness
Set up screening methodology, interviewed 83 candidates, and selected 26 enterprises across four agribusiness value chains for business incubation
Gathered baseline data and prepared profiles on all selected businesses
Held business plan workshops with the business owners in three counties
Met with all businesses and developed 26 business plans
Set up mentorship program
Field trips on bad roads to help good people were moments to remember. (Read about a couple of experiences here). Hours and hours inching along on rocky terrain bumping up and down made me want to walk instead.
I had the best drivers in Liberia. I went out to the field a lot, alone, and they took good care of me. They would patiently answer my endless questions about life there. I relied on them to give me the real scoop, and they did.
I learned about bush meat first hand, after inquiring about the black-furred slab of spare ribs for sale at one roadside stop. “It’s not monkey”, I was repeatedly reassured. On another trip I endured the pungent smell of some similar beast, baking in the direct sun in the SUV for several hours. Once we drove past a prize offered for sale along the road: a ground hog for sale, suspended upside down by his little hind legs on a Y-shaped stick.
The drivers would ask me what the US was like; they wanted to go there some day. We would listen to music and I’d work on my computer. I saw rainbows. I saw tragic accidents. I saw both happiness and despair in people’s faces. And I learned a new euphemism. On long trips there comes a time when a driver needs to relieve himself. “I must check the tires” he’d say, and the tires were always OK. Thankfully.