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USAID The Enterprise Development and Market Competitiveness (EDMC) program in Armenia

TThe Enterprise Development and Market Competitiveness (EDMC) program is a 5-year USAID-funded project with a total assistance budget of $17 million. The EDMC program will be implemented by a consortium of international and Armenian consulting companies under the leadership of the Pragma Corporation: the program will draw upon the international expertise of the Pragma Corporation, Shore Bank International, Sibley Associates, the Small Enterprise Assistance Fund (SEAF), the Center for Economic and Entrepreneurship Development (CEED), Associates in Rural Development (AIRD) and the unique knowledge and experience of Armenian experts with Global SPC and Grant Thornton Armenia.

The EDMC Program will support the Armenian Government in repositioning the economy by identifying high potential value chains and will help place these on a dynamic investment, job creation and export promotion path. The EDMC team of experts will address these competitiveness-enhancement challenges in a strategic and practical manner, using innovative approaches to value chain selection which entail the application of rigorous qualitative and quantitative analytical techniques. These in turn will permit a sound technical and political economy analysis of areas of potential competitive advantage and will map-out critical competitiveness enhancement-related reforms and institutional strengthening measures required for Armenia to effectively realize those advantages.

Through this effort, the EDMC program will focus on defining and effectively addressing the most critical knowledge, skill and networking gaps which are limiting the expansion of investment, jobs and exports in high potential value chains. EDMC will also work with key government institutions to incorporate critical policy, legal/regulatory and institutional reform priorities, as well as to establish key priorities from a public expenditure and a training/vocational educational perspective required to unleash the competitive potential of the selected value chains.

The EDMC team of experts will also focus on expanding demand by broadening the range of financial products available to entrepreneurs within the selected value chains: this will include working with innovative commercial finance institutions to develop cutting edge value chain financing products and applying them in-scale to support core SME financing needs. In addition, the project will jumpstart SME equity fund access for competitive value chains by supporting the development of equity fund institutional capacity and leveraging major equity fund resources through establishment of a branch office of the Small Enterprise Assistance Fund (SEAF). In this regard EDMC will focus on expeditiously identifying SME investment opportunities for SEAF’s new Trans-Caucasus Fund (which may be established by the end of 2011).   

On the web at: www.edmc.am

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