Business Resilience Assistance for Value-adding Enterprises (BRAVE) project was designed and funded under a joint IsDB-ICD collaboration to combine value chain design principles, grant-matching scheme concepts, and banking practices within an integrated framework. This project was created in response to in-conflict challenges for the private sector, with a key focus on selected sectors (e.g. fisheries, agribusiness, food processing, healthcare, and garments).
BRAVE went against conventional interventions to address the immediate needs that private sector agents – in particular, SMEs – require to maintain their businesses or repair damaged capital goods.
Traditionally, aiding areas in conflict or in post-conflict conditions involves strict processes: conflict ending, peace negotiations, political dialogue, infrastructure (re) building, and soft assistance. Though these interventions offer the promise of their own, they often fail to address the urgent requirements of private sector businesses.
There are 5 components of BRAVE set up to deliver its objective:
|BRAVE inspired confidence to expand
“BRAVE came like a light of hope to us, to say that we are not alone … and encouraged us to open a new branch,” said Elham Jameel, Executive Director of healthcare firm BioMove. “Our vision in the BioMove center is to reach every home that has a person with special needs in Yemen,” Elham said the private sector had been neglected – no one supported it. “We were surprised that BRAVE supported the private sector.” BioMove transforms people’s lives through prosthetics and physical therapy: “There was a lot of pressure on us, as many cases came from cities outside Sana’a, searching first for a place to stay to get treated.” BioMove initially had a single branch in Sana’a. “We noticed that most cases came from areas that are far away. We noticed that Ibb is the right place to open a center, where it’s easier for many cases to visit us there.”
Ibb governorate included many displaced people from the governorates of Al Dhale’e, Al-Hudaydah, Lahj, and Taiz. Previously, Elham said, “nothing encouraged us to invest in another place or even to consider opening another branch, but BRAVE project did encourage us to open a new branch in Ibb, and we did.” The firm matched the US$50,000 grant it received to set up in Ibb. “I call for all the organizations and the government to support the private sector,” Elham said. “The private sector and the public sector complete one another.”
Watch heart-warming stories of the powerful support given to BioMove:
A stitch in time for clothing companies
Al-Ameer Tailoring Factory was established in Sana’a in 1984 and won support from BRAVE that enabled the firm to continue operating “in all circumstances” despite the challenges, said facility owner Mohammed Aldubai. “BRAVE allowed us to expand the number of our customers because of the high-quality product we offer.” The support also enabled staff expansion, from 60 to 100 workers, with further plans for growth, including for more female staff, Mohammed said. Retailers said the quality of the product could now match that available outside Yemen – yet at local costs. “We weren’t the only ones who benefited,” Mohammed said, “everyone benefited”.
Al Ameer Menswear and Textiles, based in Aden, also benefited from BRAVE support, through both training and a grant. “When we attended the business continuity training, we learned how to define and mitigate the risks and overcome any challenges in the conflict context,” said owner Mouneer Al-Ameer. With the help of the consultant from SMEPS, Mouneer was able to draw up a plan for expansion. “Frankly, BRAVE was the right partner for success and resilience in such a situation.” The grant helped the firm to add a new production line to develop a new product, new colors, and target the markets in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. “We used to produce about 1,000 pieces per week, and currently we produce 1,000 pieces per day,” Mouneer said.
Watch the story of Al-Ameer Tailoring Factory
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