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TechnoServe's MozLink Initiative to Provide World-Class Executives As Mentors to Up-and-Coming Businesses in Mozambique

Submitted by: TechnoServe, Inc.

Categories: Community Development

Posted: Jan 16, 2003 – 11:00 PM EST


Top executives from Cargill, Chiquita Brands, Ernst & Young, General Mills, Liz Claiborne, McKinsey & Company and Young & Rubicam to volunteer their time

Jan. 16 /CSRwire/ - NORWALK, CT - TechnoServe, the international non-profit development organization, is partnering with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Confederation of Mozambican Business Associations (CTA) to launch MozLink, an exciting new initiative that will provide business leaders from world-class companies to mentor entrepreneurs and business owners in Mozambique, help them to create new business linkages, and encourage increased trade and investment between the U.S. and Mozambique. MozLink will be launched on January 19-20 in Pemba, northern Mozambique.

Top executives from Cargill, Chiquita Brands, Ernst & Young, General Mills, Liz Claiborne, McKinsey & Company and Young & Rubicam - including several Chairpersons and CEOs - have volunteered to mentor a minimum of 16 Mozambican businesses over two years. Their combined in-kind contribution is valued at $750,000, which will be matched by TechnoServe's first-ever grant award from the Global Development Alliance, a USAID initiative that encourages collaboration between the public and private sectors to identify and address development problems.

During a series of seminars, workshops, face-to-face meetings and field visits, these executives will work with TechnoServe's in-country business advisors to assist participating Mozambican business owners with issues like competitor analysis, identifying business opportunities, understanding market segmentation and sustainability of their businesses. Equally important, they will help them to create new business linkages and establish long-term relationships with other U.S. companies by introducing them to new contacts.

"Entrepreneurs and business owners in Mozambique and throughout Africa face many challenges when they try to start new businesses or expand existing operations to compete in the global economy," said TechnoServe President and CEO Peter A. Reiling. "Chief among these are lack of international experience and difficulty in establishing the professional contacts that will help them to move their businesses forward. Through MozLink, seasoned executives from world-class companies will help Mozambican business owners to overcome these challenges by providing them with top-notch mentoring and by opening up their rolodexes in order to facilitate crucial connections."

"During recent years, the American apparel industry has helped many countries to develop export capabilities," said Robert Zane, Senior Vice President for Manufacturing and Sourcing at Liz Claiborne Inc. "We're delighted to participate in the MozLink program in conjunction with TechnoServe and Mozambique."

A minimum of two Mozambican businesses from each of eight industries - cashew, document processing, eco-tourism, flowers, tropical fruit, garments/textiles, oilseed and wood products - will be mentored through MozLink. These were selected by TechnoServe for their potential to have a large and positive impact on the Mozambican economy. Among the Mozambican companies that are participating in MozLink are Miranda Cashew, a TechnoServe-assisted business and the most profitable and fastest-growing cashew enterprise in Mozambique, and Mozambique's two largest oilseed producers, Grupo Ferreira dos Santos and Issufo Nurmomade.

Based on the mentoring, counseling and networking assistance that they receive, these Mozambican businesses are expected to develop a comprehensive strategic plan and create at least two new linkages with buyers, suppliers, investors or clients.

The inauguration of MozLink - which includes a training session led by Thilo Mannhardt, Managing Partner of McKinsey & Company in South Africa, and an overview of the program for both mentors and mentored companies - will take place on January 19 and 20, 2003 at the Pemba Beach Hotel in northern Mozambique. Expected to attend are, among others, Paul E. Tierney, Jr., TechnoServe's Chairman and Managing Partner at Development Capital; Alan Patricof, venture capitalist and Vice Chairman of Apax Partners; Carlos Morgado, Mozambique's Minister of Industry and Commerce; Jay Knott, USAID's Mission Director in Mozambique, South African business owners, and about twenty Mozambican entrepreneurs.

"It is only by building enterprises that can compete in regional and global markets that Mozambique can achieve broad-based and sustainable economic growth," said Jay Knott, USAID's Mission Director in Mozambique. "This program, which links major U.S. global firms with small and medium Mozambican enterprises, complements and reinforces other USAID programs to expand the private sector and open the Mozambican economy to trade. We at USAID are proud to be partnering with TechnoServe to launch the first Global Development Alliance for Mozambique, and we are particularly pleased that the alliance includes such distinguished corporations."

For more information, please contact:

Mara Neville TechnoServe/Headquarters (USA)
Phone: +1-203-852-0377
Lucilia Jiverage TechnoServe/Mozambique
Phone: 258-141-6032


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