The Souztextile Association Takes Its First Steps to Better Support Women-Owned Businesses
From June 24 to July 5, 2013, Dr. Alan Osman, an international volunteer from ACDI/VOCA specializing in business development for small and medium enterprises, assisted the Souztextile association in developing and formulating its strategic plan to expand its membership. Ms. Meredith Jones, from ACDI/VOCA’s Farmer-to-Farmer program, also played a key role in coordinating and facilitating the assignment. Dr. Osman’s work marks the first steps towards building the capacity of local business associations.
In strengthening the Souztextile association, the Women’s Leadership in Small and Medium Enterprises (WLSME) Program will ensure that our clients in the garment sector reap the benefits of becoming members of a strong business network that provides access to social capital, market information and continued support in growing their businesses.
At the end of the volunteer assignment, Dr. Alan Osman presented concrete guidelines that will allow Souztextile to create a plan of action to increase its membership.
Souztextile is a nonprofit organization based in Bishkek that unites 30 textile enterprises, of which 25 are women-owned. It currently caters to well-developed industry leaders, offering a range of services to its members, such as legal protection, taxation, accounting advice and technical training.
Dr. Osman kicked off his assignment by facilitating a series of interactive workshops with Souztextile’s members to exchange ideas for creating and implementing an effective expansion strategy. In addition, the program interviewed members, non-members, and other associations to survey satisfaction with existing performance and expectations for future services.
Souztextile will distribute to its members in order to improve existing services and gauge their interest in new ones. The guidelines and questionnaire serve as powerful tools for the association to become a stronger network of support for new and existing members.