Ethiopia Sustainable Agribusiness Incubator – ESAI (2012-2016)
ETG, in collaborating with its Ethiopian partner, PCI, designed and established the Ethiopia Sustainable Agribusiness Incubator (ESAI)—funded by the USAID—whose objective is to transform Ethiopian agriculture sector-by-sector through the establishment of a multi-faceted innovating and incubating business whose primary mission consists of transforming agribusiness value chains and enhancing their competitiveness. The incubator was designed according to the time-tested best practices of successful agribusiness incubators worldwide. Experience reveals that working with and through change-oriented companies is the most efficient way to bring real innovation and value-added initiatives into the market. Therefore, ESAI works along the entirety of the agribusiness value chain with a dual focus to identify and support existing pioneer firms as well as to stimulate and promote emerging entrepreneurs.
ESAI accomplishes competitive transformation first at the enterprise level and subsequently at the sector level. It achieves its objectives by:
i) Identifying promising agribusiness value chains with significant untapped growth potential;
ii) Analyzing the underlying economics of these chains;
iii) Undertaking strategic interventions in each chain which afford the greatest breakthrough gains;
iv) Engaging pioneering business leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs to test strategic interventions along multiple trajectories.
ESAI focused initially on three value chains with high potential for growth: Honey, Sesame and Dairy products. ESAI analyzed each sector in depth in order to pinpoint propitious targets for intervention in the market. Such targets may exist in the area of inputs, production, packaging, transportation, processing, distribution or marketing; they may involve complementarities between several value chains, they may imply coordination between the private and the public sector and they may occur in the domestic, regional or global market. ESAI seeks out pioneer companies and entrepreneurs to test alternative business models, create economies of scale and scope, experiment with apt new technology, and work to realign public policy with sector interests.