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From Startup to Small Business of the Year: Celebrating 20 Years of IBI


IBI is founded as International Business Initiatives, Inc. by Dr. Lucie Colvin Phillips. Below: The original IBI compass rose (left), next to USAID’s mid-1990s logo.


IBI implements its first cooperative agreement under the USAID Equity & Growth through Economic Research (EAGER) project. IBI studied the Tanzanian mining sector, contributing 6 policy briefs on mining and smuggling of gemstones and gold as well as “Foreign and Local Investment” in East Africa. Below: Dr. Lucie Phillips, seated far right, with Tanzanian staff at a workshop.


IBI wins its first long-term (5 years) USAID Publications & Graphics Support Services contract, under which it contributes 300+ quality materials for DCHA, OIG, and OTI, among other bureaus and offices. Below: Dr. Lucie Phillips, back row, at a celebratory gala dinner at the Hotel Salaam with the West African Women’s Association.


Drs. Lucie Phillips and Diery Seck publish Fixing African Economies (Boulder/London; Lynne Rienner: 2004) highlighting USAID-EAGER funded studies. This marks Dr. Phillips’ first peer-reviewed book as IBI President and CEO.


IBI completes its first USAID task order under the SEGIR MACRO IQC, which seeks to reduce poverty and promote economic growth and prosperity in developing and transition countries. As part of IBI’s component, team of four IBI agricultural economists propose a rural reform program in post-Orange Revolution Ukraine.


IBI begins work in Liberia on the USAID Governance & Economic Management Assistance Program (GEMAP). With ongoing success of the project, IBI’s support to 2 Liberian ministries expands to 13 ministries. Below: The internal audit training graduating class supported by GEMAP. The program has consisted most broadly of establishing and documenting internal controls and coaching all staff on how to implement control procedures.


IBI joins forces with the Management Training & Development Institute (MTDI) to create the International Leadership Center (ILC), a non-profit affiliate dedicated to helping organizations & individuals improve performance through tested training programs. Below: Lead trainers Dr. Maurice Hall (far left, second row) and Dr. Anne Nicotera (second from last on the left, second row) with workshop participants at a Leadership Training Workshop for USAID-Malawi Scholarship Program Beneficiaries.


IBI’s digital geospatial profiles of Gabon and Liberia identify future development corridors based on economic flows and resources, generating national growth strategies where future investment can “crowd in” to be more effective. Below left: Excerpt from the Development Favorability Map created for a study of Gabon's mining sector. Right: Dr. Phillips on the cover of Gabonese newspaper L'union with Julien Nkoghe Bekale, Minister of Mines, Oil, and Hydrocarbons in Gabon.


IBI launches its second major project in Liberia, the 5-year $50 million USAID-Governance & Economic Management Support (GEMS) program. USAID-GEMS assists 14 Liberian ministries to improve institutional performance. Below: USAID-GEMS Chief of Party Vicki Cooper poses with graduates in the President's Young Professionals Program (PYPP), a fellowship funded by USAID-GEMS that places recent graduates into traineeships with government ministries.


IBI is awarded USAID’s Global Public Financial Management Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (PFM IDIQ) contract, allowing for fast-track procurement of IBI’s services through small-business set asides. IBI implements the USAID Liberia Administrative & Systems Strengthening (LASS) program through the PFM IDIQ. IBI also supports the US Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Technical Assistance to Advance Regional Integration (ATAARI) project in Singapore as a subcontractor to Nathan Associates. Below: The National Elections Commission building in Monrovia features a statue of a person submitting a voting ballot. IBI works closely with the NEC as part of USAID-LASS in preparation for Liberia’s 2017 elections.


IBI adds Bangladesh to its South Asia work. IBI is now implementing the 5-year $12 million Bangladesh Trade Facilitation Activity to bolster economic growth with more efficient and secure cross-border trade. Below: An awareness training workshop for women entrepreneurs under the Dhaka Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DWCCI). During these training events, the BTFA team shares their knowledge and expertise with women entrepreneurs and representatives who are interested in becoming exporters to expand their market base.


During the 2014 Ebola Outbreak, IBI continues the implementation of GEMS, fields a new project (INL-JAMS), and provides assistance to the USAID/Liberia Mission’s Ebola response—all while maintaining the highest level of operational security and staff safety. The Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs’ Justice Administration and Management Support (JAMS) project is an effort to build the capacity of the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) in Liberia by improving performance and the overall function of the justice sector. Below: Hand-washing stations set up during the Ebola outbreak pictured outside of the General Services Administration, one of the USAID-GEMS supported agencies.


IBI opens its first branch office in Accra, Ghana, headed by President and CEO David Colvin. The IBI home office relocates from its long-time home near Courthouse Metro to a larger office near Ballston in Arlington, VA. Below: The time zone's in IBI's international offices as displayed at the new headquarters in 4040 North Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA.


IBI celebrates 20 years of providing Global Insights and Local Solutions. The same year, IBI is awarded the 2015 Small Business of the Year Award by USAID's Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization.

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