AGEXPRONT Training and Digital Certificates Technical Assistance

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April 22, 2008
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April 30, 2007

AGEXPRONT Training and Digital Certificates Technical Assistance

7/11/2005 – 1/22/07

Chartered in 1982 as a private, non-profit spin-off of Guatemala’s Chamber of Industry, AGEXPRONT’s initial goal was the promotion and development of non-traditional exports for small and medium business enterprises (SMEs).  AGEXPRONT was subsequently commissioned by the Guatemalan government’s Ministry of the Economy to manage a bureau called the Single Window for Exporters (VUPE[1]).  Since its establishment, AGEXPRONT grew quickly to over 1,000 members representing over 100,000  mall producers.  At the same time, Guatemala’s exports to the U.S. grew from US$ 90 million in 1982 to US$ 3.1 billion in 2004, an increase over 3000%. AGEXPRONT also staffs and operates the highly regarded Foreign Trade School serving exporters and importers in Guatemala and throughout Central America.

decision analysis partners delivered a comprehensive Technical Assistance (TA) project designed to provide AGEXPRONT with additional knowledge and tools that would enable it to increase its effectiveness in developing non-traditional exports to CAFTA and other non-CAFTA countries; to promote trade capacity building in general; and to remain one of the most successful export training institutions in Central and Latin America.  decision analysis was assisted by Florida International University’s Knight Ridder Center for Excellence in Management, a recognized international leader in entrepreneurship research, education and outreach. Individual tasks performed under this project included:

  • guatemala coffeeDesign a technical assistance strategy in cooperation with Grantee and local counterparts.  This task consisted of meeting with the AGEXPRONT Advisory Committee members to review the Contractor’s proposal and initial project plan; performing extensive data and intelligence gathering to assess current stakeholder needs and concerns; drafting a joint strategy and implementation plan and conducting a Workshop with the Advisory committee to agree upon the revised plan.
  • Develop content of training program with local counterparts.  This task first required a training needs assessment of AGEXPRONT and affiliated organizations.  Based on the needs assessment, five in-depth training modules were then developed.  Finally, a “train the trainers” program plan plus a training roll-out plan targeting the Guatemalan trade community were developed.
  • Strengthening AGEXPRONT’s training capability was accomplished by assessing the current capabilities of AGEXPRONT’s ForeignTrade School and providing recommendations for improvement.
  • “Train the Trainers” in trade information provided 10 days of sophisticated training for thirty six (36) trainers on business and exporting issues including: market research, market entry, partnering, finance, quality, innovation, CAFTA requirements and opportunities, quality standards and teaching techniques.
  • Assist AGEXPRONT and the affiliated local counterparts and trade organizations in adapting the training modules for seminars to reach members of small and medium business enterprises (SMEs) engaged in trade and the general public.  The newly-trained trainers conducted this training rollout.  The Contractor team participated in 12 of the seminars to provide coaching  and suggestions to the Trainers on the quality & effectiveness of their presentations and teaching techniques.
  • Advance the Digital Certificates Program.  This task provided IT systems planning, hardware and software for AGEXPRONT’s
  • Digital Certificates program which provides a key e-business process capability for exporters.  Additionally, this task provided: hands-on training for the system administrator and key personnel; installation and testing of new equipment; identification of potential financing for subsequent system development; and provision of contacts for exchange of certificates with the U.S.

This project was funded by the U.S. Trade and Development Agency.

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