Supporting Small Business Throughout the World

 

 

 

SPECIFIC PROJECT EXPERIENCE

South Africa

 Technical Assistance to the Black Integrated Commercial Support Network

USAID South Africa succeeded in creating several hundred SME opportunities for formerly disadvantaged black entrepreneurs (including Nando’s Peri-Peri Chichen) through a franchise development program managed by Donna Sibley and her associates. Through standardization in training and operating systems, these firms upgraded financial controls, staff training, and marketing practices

The project established over 200 franchise businesses and trained hundreds of local small entrepreneurs in all aspects of franchise development including contracting, operations, training, expansion, marketing, franchisee relations and accounting.

 

Bangladesh - Franchising of the NGO Health Clinics

The Smiling Sun program in Bangladesh introduced a new approach of franchising among NGO health clinics run with USG assistance. Its goals include increasing the robustness and sustainability of the NGO sector, which has been surviving on government and other donor assistance since the 1970's; building institutional capacity to sustain franchiser/franchisee relationships; improving the quality of maternal and child health services; and reducing the burden of TB, malaria, and other diseases. Donna Sibley provided expertise from the program's inception, providing input on franchise conversion opportunities, retention strategies, franchise guidelines, and other pertinent information to ensure franchise sustainability and effectiveness. Donna Sibley had lead responsibility for franchisor development and support, providing direct technical assistance and capacity building to SSFP's Franchise Manager, Franchise Development and Operations teams.

 

Malaysia - Franchise Development for Indigenous Malays

Sibley’s associates was engaged to review a franchise program sponsored by the Malaysian Government with the specific aim of increasing investment and SME ownership opportunities for the ethnic Malays, mainly through developing or acquiring franchises. The project entailed reviewing the understanding of franchising within the financial, business, and academic communities in Malaysia, and identifying indigenous businesses for which franchising would be a suitable development strategy. Sibley’ associates conducted financial sector analysis and assessed the viability of Franchise Association as a self-regulatory body; trained trainers and consultants; and conducted workshops for the business community and the professional staff within the Ministry.

**More project descriptions upon request

 

Republic of Georgia

Georgia Enterprise Support Program (GESP)

Sibley and her associates was the leading team d firm in this comprehensive nationwide project designed to offer an integrated package of interventions targeted at the primary constraints of enterprise development in Georgia. The GESP design proposed a multi-dimensional approach to addressing these constraints, incorporating five key components: improving the legal and regulatory environment; developing the professional capacity and technical capabilities of Georgian consulting groups; developing the regional economy outside of the capital Tbilisi; providing enterprises access to credit by developing a network of credit unions; and conducting a public education program to increase the understanding of the importance of private businesses in economic growth.

Under difficult conditions, GESP made important contributions to improving the performance of the private sector in the Georgian economy. The USAID-funded GESP implemented by Sibley and its partners established core business functions -- accounting, marketing, decision-making and good corporate governance – in multiple enterprises and business support organizations to help Georgia's economy grow.

 

Republic of Georgia

Georgia Enterprise Accounting Reform (GEAR) Project

This project was designed to be all encompassing accounting reform program. The project objective was to strengthen business enterprises through accounting reforms that including the adoption of the International Accounting Standards (IAS).

Sibley International managed a large team of accounting professionals that provided financial management, advice and training to several hundred micro, small and medium enterprise owners and managers. The Sibley Team, in conjunction with Georgia's Minister of Finance Office, introduced accounting reforms, completed hands-on enterprise-level assistance in conversion techniques for Georgian firms, initiated educational reforms and offered professional training. The Sibley team also created a progressive legal and regulatory framework intended to foster the creation of self-regulatory bodies that would further the growth of the accounting industry. All of these efforts helped increase user awareness of, and capacity for, utilization of accounting information during this three-year program that is regarded by USAID/Georgia as one of its "flagship" efforts.

 

Azerbaijan - Accounting Training

Under a USAID-sponsored initiative with the Academy for Educational Development, Sibley International implemented a comprehensive accounting training program in Azerbaijan. Through an Azeri accounting association, Sibley trained accountants in Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and ACCA-based accounting.

Bosnia

Reconstruction Finance Facility

Sibley supported the revitalization of the Bosnian banking system and the private sector in this USAID SME financing initiative. Implemented with the Barents Group, this project strengthened local bank loan origination, credit analysis, and loan administration skills with the goal of improving SME access to credit in Bosnia. The large number of borrowers and difficult economic climate required creative approaches to managing arrears. The project incorporated unique environmental impact assessments to the loan appraisal process.

To date, the project has managed over 250 basic environmental audits for SMEs in sectors from forestry/wood products to metal fabrication and plastics. The project also provided training for all stakeholders, including those in the financial sector, government officials, and enterprise owners and managers. A monitoring process was developed and implemented to track the environmental and economic impact.

 

Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan

Franchise Systems Development

Drawing from the experience elsewhere in the NIS, Donna Sibley and her associates introduced franchising as a business development strategy for investors and entrepreneurs, financial institutions, and the government. The purpose of the project was to test the concept of franchising in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan by developing pilot enterprises. The goal was to produce viable, replicable franchise businesses that are indigenous to the respective countries. In the process of enterprise development, Sibley International built consulting capacity in the Kazak business community. This support and consulting extended from overall management and business techniques to actual operations procedural development.

The latter part of the project concentrated in formulating the Franchise Packages into applicable modules to enhance the implementation process. Legal reviews of the environment as well as a financial sector analysis were also completed and included surveys of commercial bank and lease financing mechanisms. In addition, the Sibley team conducted educational workshops, created operational, financial, and accounting procedures, and distributed an SME Handbook with guidance on equipment financing, business planning, and licensing and regulatory requirements.

 

Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay

Agribusiness Export Promotion

Donna Sibley’s International's technical assistance for agribusinesses in Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay led to improved quality and export reliability. The project's scope included growing requirements, packing, grading, packaging, transportation, cold storage and warehousing, financing, and marketing of Latin American products in the U.S., Canada, and Europe.

 

U.S.A. - Department of Commerce, SABIT Program Training

The Department of Commerce's SABIT program organized a specialized accounting program entitled Business Management for Women directed at women accountants from the former Soviet Union. A Sibley specialist provided training to the selected participants in Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and International Accounting Standards (IAS) during a two-week period. Participants received a customized plan of instruction that included all aspects of financial reporting, including classification of assets and liabilities and presentation of financial statements, with special attention paid to the conditions faced by accountants from the FSU. Upon successful completion of the program participants received a certificate of training in accounting.

 

U.S.A. - USAID Loan Guarantee Fund

Sibley International devised and structured a $30 million franchise loan guarantee fund for USAID. The fund was established to facilitate financing US franchises for export to the developing world and is currently used throughout the developing world. Through a contract with Ernst & Young and USAID, Sibley International developed and analyzed various configurations of a franchise facility for the purpose of an initial pilot project and a long-term facility. The result was a pilot program, designed and structured by Sibley that created a franchise loan guarantee fund for USAID. The fund established a mechanism for financing the purchase of US franchises by individuals and companies within USAID assisted countries. Specifically, the program provided direct loans and loan guarantees to International Master Licensors and franchisees to purchase US franchises. In addition, the program provided grants to US franchisors for training and support services to IMLs and franchisees.

 

Russia - Franchise Finance

Sibley, in collaboration with NatWest Bank, designed and implemented a training program for bankers in Russia. The goal of the program was to assist Russian banks in better understanding financing options for small businesses, in particular financing for franchises. Bankers learned how to develop a department and product specifically to be able offer finance to franchise operators.

 

Russia - Rural Telecommunications Distribution Study

Sibley International, in cooperation with ICO, completed a comprehensive project to design innovative strategies to deliver phone services to widely dispersed rural communities and create small business opportunities for entrepreneurs in these areas. The Rural Satellite Telecommunications and Distribution Study was for a major international telecommunications client planning to enter 15 emerging markets over two years. The project objectives were to analyze foreseeable roll-out methodologies for rural and remote telecommunications services, as well as to conduct a financial/commercial (business case) analysis, including each user group addressed, from which to make an informed, financially-based decision regarding which rural/remote roll-out scheme was best suited for the client's semi-fixed market. The business case analysis helped to guide the client's investments, and also examined the viability of a franchise or licensed-based distribution network involving a large number of locally-owned small businesses. Studies were conducted for large, diverse markets in Brazil and Russia.

 

Ukraine - Franchise Development Project

In this innovative SME creation program, Sibley applied international franchising and licensing methodologies that enabled pilot firms to rapidly expand distribution networks and restructure their financial control, operations, management training, and marketing systems. These pilots demonstrated that working through a structured distribution system, business skills can be transferred and SME growth enhanced using commercially viable distribution strategies. After assessing the small business environment in Ukraine, Sibley International targeted 21 pilot enterprises. The enterprises were also supported by workshops and an improved legal and regulatory framework.

 

 

 

 

 Bosnia

 Azerbaijan

 Kazakhstan

 Kyrgyzstan

 Argentina

 Chile

 Uruguay

 Jamaica

 West Indies

 United States

 Ukraine

 

 Liberia

 Ghana

 Nigeria

 Senegal

 Ghana

 Morocco

 South Africa

 Bangladesh

 Malaysia

 Republic of Georgia

 

COUNTRY EXPERIENCE

Countries in which Associates have specific experience related to either small- and medium-size enterprise development or social franchising experience, or both include:

Republic of Armenia - Armenia Enterprise Accounting Reform (AEAR) Project

Following the success of the Georgian accounting reform project, Sibley International managed a consortium that dramatically changed financial management and dialogue practices in Armenia's emerging market economy. The team converted Armenia's then current accounting and auditing systems into market oriented accounting for enterprise managers, financial sector professionals, and other institutions. Sibley worked directly with the Ministry of Finance and Parliament to develop and adopt International Accounting Standards (15 core standards within 5 months) as well as International Standards for Auditing as a major component of market and economic reform. The project merged two associations into a new entity, the Association of Accountants and Auditors of Armenia (AAAA), and eased the devolution of authority to this self-regulatory organization. Sibley professionals developed a comprehensive training program based on internationally recognized ACCA syllabus for international and national certification, as well as licensing. They used the ACCA model in order to reform the educational curriculum in the training of future accountants. Sustainability was ensured by transferred skill-sets and know-how to local Armenian auditing companies and enhancing the growth potential for Armenian accounting services through the incorporation of public awareness tools.

 

Brazil - Rural Telecommunications Distribution Study

Sibley International, in cooperation with ICO, completed a comprehensive project to design innovative strategies to deliver phone services to widely dispersed rural communities and create small business opportunities for entrepreneurs in these areas. The Rural Satellite Telecommunications and Distribution Study was for a major international telecommunications client planning to enter 15 emerging markets over two years. The project objectives were to analyze foreseeable roll-out methodologies for rural and remote telecommunications services, as well as to conduct a financial/commercial (business case) analysis, including each user group addressed, from which to make an informed, financially-based decision regarding which rural/remote roll-out scheme was best suited for the client's semi-fixed market

The business case analysis helped to guide the client's investments, and also examined the viability of a franchise or licensed-based distribution network involving a large number of locally-owned small businesses. Studies were conducted for large, diverse markets in Brazil and Russia.zerbaijan

Jamaica

Small and Medium Enterprise Development Project

Sibley is assisted in the implementationing of a four-year USAID subcontract to improve the Jamaican business environment, assist SME development, and train Jamaican SMEs to compete in the global market. The project addresses addressed regulatory reform, by aiming to simplify procedures for entrepreneurs to establish and operate businesses, and by assisting ministries and government departments in the design of clear sets of regulations and guidelines. Sibley is managing the development of lower-cost business solutions that are useful and useable for small enterprises, in particular, information on prices, quality of production, and market opportunities. Technical issues for the project include production and plant organization, technology transfer, information technology, marketing, finance, and regulatory requirements. Sibley is also developing financial mechanisms for increased private funding to the micro and small business sector, mainly through expanding retail lending to MSMEs and introducing new lending instruments to attract private capital to the sector.

 

West Indies -  Tropical Produce Support Project (TROPRO)

Sibley International provided technical assistance, infrastructure development, and institutional support to strengthen the private sector capabilities in the production, post-harvest handling, transport, and marketing of non-traditional agricultural export products to regional Grantees. This project primarily benefited individual private and public sector agents, farmers, shippers and marketing personnel. In addition, the project helped strengthen the three regional organizations (Organization of Eastern Caribbean, Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute, and Caribbean Agricultural

 

Russia - Franchising: Pilot Projects and Training Initiative

Under a USAID Program Sibley introduced franchising as a business development strategy for Russian investors and entrepreneurs, financial institutions, and the government. These pilots introduced franchising and other licensed distribution strategies to Russia as a means to create large numbers of small-scale, start-up enterprises that mobilize primarily Russian capital and can expand in the absence of large-scale foreign investment. The program trained Russian investors and entrepreneurs, financial institutions and government representatives. Sibley estimates that the number of franchised businesses in Russia grew from 70 in 1994 to over 600 in 1997, representing nearly 200 percent annual growth. The Sibley Team also organized workshops and seminars in 10 cities throughout

 

Russia - Development of the Russian Franchise Association

In order to promote the continuation of the franchising initiative, in 1997 Sibley assisted in the formation of the Russian Franchise Association (RFA). Sibley experts trained a full-time executive director, created investment promotion and educational programs, and established a resource center with technical and reference materials for the franchisee and potential Russian and foreign investors. The Sibley Team succeeded in fostering a consensus among a diverse pool of international and Russian-based franchise companies, including AlphaGraphics, McDonalds, Baskin Robbins, Dunkin Donuts, Mother Care, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Rostik Chicken. The RFA, now more than five years old, it is the largest franchise association in Eurasia and provides a full range of training, investment promotion, and advocacy services.rading Company) responsible for its implementation.

 

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