Small businesses soon can expect a boost of support from the Obama Administration, which is launching the Growth Oriented Local Development, or GOLD, program -- in the Southeastern European nation of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Obama through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) last week alerted vendors to potential program-contracting opportunities via a presolicitation notice that U.S. Trade & Aid Monitor located during routine database research.
Despite an end to civil war fifteen years ago -- and in spite of about $8 billion in post-conflict, international donor support -- that nation continues to lag "behind its neighbors’ political and economic progress," USAID says in its Country Development Cooperation Strategy 2012-2016 (.pdf, 18 MB).
The "overarching objective" of the U.S. "is to help a stable, prosperous, sovereign, democratic, and multi-ethnic BiH become fully integrated into Euro-Atlantic institutions (the EU and NATO)." Critical to achieving U.S. foreign policy objectives are programs centering on "youth, civil society, empowering women, and inter-ethnic reconciliation," the strategy indicates.
USAID will issue a formal Request for Proposals for the GOLD project around Feb. 15. The agency said in a presolicitation notice that it expects to jointly fund the program in conjunction with the Swedish International Development Agency, or SIDA.
USAID stated, albeit vaguely, several project goals including:
Improving local economic development management capacity;
Spurring economic activity through increased public-private partnerships;
Strengthening private sector capacity, "resulting in increased skill levels of employees in the private sector and an increase in the number of local supply chain networks and the economic value they generate."
USAID did not disclose GOLD's estimated cost.
Source document: Solicitation #SOL-168-13-000002.