Private Sector Development Initiative


The four-year, $12 million Private Sector Development Initiative (PSDI), was implemented by the Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance (VEGA) with CNFA, International Executive Service Corps (IESC), and Citizens Development Corps (CDC) as subcontractors. The goal of the project was to help expand a competitive private sector in Iraq by offering business training and other business support services to Iraqi entrepreneurs. As the leader of the Value Chain and Marketing Development, CNFA identified, assessed, and analyzed market opportunities throughout the entire agricultural value chain to ensure that interventions were appropriately targeted. Our team developed a comprehensive agribusiness strategy that addressed agribusiness development needs, priority sectors, and specific interventions to strengthen weaknesses within specific value chains.

Program Approach:

  • Training: The training component of PSDI was geared toward improving business skills and knowledge among the SME sector of the Iraqi private sector as well as among local SME supporting institutions (banks, Chambers of Commerce, business associations, and training institutions, among others);
  • Technical Assistance: We provided technical assistance through the use of paid American and Iraqi consultants. The technical assistance component was designed to reinforce the skills developed in training programs and to complement the provision of grants when possible;
  • Grants: CNFA was responsible for the selection of grantees and disbursement of 347 separate grants packages.

Program Impact:

  • 122 grants distributed;
  • 9,907 Small Business Kits distributed;
  • 1,680 People trained in business skills;
  • 1,566 Firm-level interventions undertaken;
  • 47 new businesses created.