News Library

CARANA wins new projects in Morocco and Macedonia

CARANA Corporation is pleased to announce the award of new projects to help small businesses and entrepreneurs in two very different countries.

In Morocco, CARANA is promoting the growth of the handcrafts and artisanal industry in Fes and Marrakech by encouraging exports to lucrative US, European and Middle Eastern markets, as well as domestic sales. The project, funded by the Millennium Challenge Corporation, is building the capacity of handcraft SMEs to take advantage of these new opportunities so their businesses can grow sustainably.

The Morocco MSME Artisan Promotion Project (MMAPP) will market artisans through trade shows, buyer visits, festivals and media tours in Morocco, Europe, the Middle East and the US. As CARANA did for West Africa (see  we’ll ignite an international appetite for Moroccan jewelry, leather, home décor and other handmade arts—and then help artisans meet the demand.

In Macedonia, the Small Business Expansion Project will build on CARANA's track record there in taking smaller businesses—particularly outside the capital city—to the next level through a new USAID project that targets regional economic development.

Working closely with the country's micro, small and mid-sized enterprises—which contribute 61 percent of Macedonia's GDP—we will tailor support services so they can create great jobs and grow their businesses. The project will help firms in the Polog and Pelagonija regions capitalize on their potential in agro-processing, light manufacturing, tourism and other fields. Our approach dovetails with the Government of Macedonia's decentralization agenda and the European Union's emphasis on regional economic development as part of the accession process. Building regional alliances around specific opportunities clears the way for future cross-border cooperation and funds for regional development.

This task leads naturally from our recently concluded USAID Macedonia Competitiveness Project, which created over 3,300 new jobs and $145 million in new investment for business expansion—more than half of that outside the capital Skopje and over 60 percent in micro and small businesses.

Published June 2012