Suriname Enterprise Competitiveness and Innovation (2016-2017)
ETG was hired by the Government of Suriname and Inter-American Development Bank to support the implementation of the Pilot Program—Innovation for Firms in Suriname (IFS)—to support innovation and development of local firms in Suriname by strengthening their integration into value chains and clusters and their linkages with firms and buyers and among themselves. The program is oriented to improve local firms’ productivity, competitiveness and innovation, and ETG developed a “buyer-led” approach. ETG worked with the IFS team to develop practical operating procedures for the IFS, identify and support best candidate local firm and operational clusters to supported by the program, and assist selected firms (in clusters) to develop specific innovations to increase sales and exports, and have positive impact on other SMEs in the value chain. The focus is on supporting firms, which can demonstrate “quick wins”, and lead the way in establishing early success of the program. ETG provided “hands on training” to the IFS task manager, CUS staff, and relevant public and private stakeholders. ETG supported ten companies to formulate their enterprise development plans to achieve increased sales and exports and will have positive economic impact on other firms in the value chain. This focus on lead firms is to achieve “quick win” results of the IFS program, within the already identified value chains with sales and export potential (e.g., value added agribusiness, mining, ICT, forest products, non-timber forest products). Funding from the Government of Suriname and the Inter-American Development Bank, 2016-2017.
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.
Mexico: Tabasco in Action (2002-2004)
During 2002-04, ETG helped to launch the cacao cluster and supported the development and implementation of the cacao cluster’s main initiative—the transition to organic cacao. By 2005, more than two-thirds of all cacao production in the state was certified as organic cacao.
Pasadena Bioscience Collaborative (2000-01)
ETG, in collaboration with its brother company, ECG, and the Institute for Biotechnology Information (IBI), and the Smith Group, developed an analytical and participatory approach to assessing the needs, market potential, and feasibility of developing the proposed multi-use biotechnology facility in Pasadena. The overall goal was to enhance the growth of biotechnology industry in the Pasadena regional economy by recommending a state-of-the-art design and defining the mission, role and structural attributes of the new Center. The project team worked with the California State University client team and other regional bioscience industry stakeholders. The strategy process combines innovative analysis of niche markets with collaborative participation by regional industry, institutions, and public entities in the design of the new biotechnology facility. The Pasadena Biosciences Innovation and Training Center was implemented in 2003 and now is known as the Pasadena Bioscience Collaborative and is closely related to the California State Universities Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology (CSUPERB).
Mexico: Transformando Campeche (1996-98)
In April 1996, business leaders in the state of Campeche, Mexico arranged funding for and launched a 3-year cluster-based economic strategy project. This unique, private sector-led project had three phases: Phase I provides a diagnosis of the strengths and weaknesses of the state’s economy, while in Phase II ETG staff developed strategic options for Campeche’s future using a process-intensive, working group approach. In the third and final phase of the project, specific initiatives were launched under the guidance of the consulting team, which includes Mexican sub-contractors with direct experience from the Chihuahua Siglo XXI project, in addition to ETG staff. The private and public sectors developed a joint, focused vision of the state’s future and the means for implementing that vision. Since 1998, Campeche has achieved a major transformation of its primarily agriculture and fishing economy into a diversified one with a boom in both 1) tourism (tripling the number of tourists to the region between 1997 and 2000), and 2) light industry (8,000 new industrial jobs from 1997-2000, the highest growth (48% increase) in Southeast Mexico.