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Expanding Economic Opportunities in Jordan

To boost economic growth and reduce unemployment, the Access to Microfinance and Improved Implementation of Policy Reform program improved Jordan's business enabling environment.
​The Access to Microfinance and Improved Implementation of Policy Reform program promoted economic growth and prosperity through creation of a more favorable environment for business — one that stimulates increased investment. In assisting Jordan’s private sector to meet the challenges of economic globalization, the project helped Jordan become the 136th member of the World Trade Organization in an unprecedented eight months. Under this effort, the program helped to bring more than 40 trade laws and regulations into conformity with international standards.
 
HM Queen Rania Al Abdullah and former First Lady Hillary Clinton (center) at the first Jordan Microentrepreneur Awards ceremony.Supporting USAID’s strategic objective to increase economic opportunities for Jordanians, the project established a model capital market that brought in significant foreign investment, working in collaboration with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. In this model capital market, Chemonics and local partners reformed and automated the customs process and developed industrial zones, increasing foreign direct investment by almost $34 million and creating 13,000 jobs. To increase microenterprise access to credit, the project inaugurated certificate courses in microfinance and provided $10 million in grants for onward lending to four microfinance institutions. These institutions have contracted more than 81,000 loans, with two-thirds going to women, resulting in a 45 percent average increase in borrower income.
 
In support of the project’s business association initiative, Chemonics promoted public-private partnerships. The program in support of the information technology initiative built competitive, export-oriented software and information technology service industries. The project worked with business associations to improve service delivery to entrepreneurs and create an effective constituency for continued reform. As a result, small business membership in these organizations grew 56 percent during the program.
 
Project Results:
  • Created 13,000 new jobs and increased foreign direct investment by $34 million.
  • Small business membership grew 56%.
  • 81,862 loans contracted.
  • 35,000 borrowers served, 28,000 of which are women and $33 million of loans disbursed.
Project Duration: 1998 - 2002

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