Spring 2021

a virtuous cycle

Training programs aim to elevate women employees in the garment factory.

a private partner by requiring a 50 percent leverage, or one-to-one match.” For Ethical Apparel Africa’s venture with Maagrace, the Trade Hub co-invested $1.3 million, leveraging a $6.8 million investment by Ethical Apparel Africa, for a total investment of $8 million. This investment brings not only capital, but also visibility and an opportunity to inspire broader change that catalyzes future invest- ments from both local and international firms. “We want to be thought leaders within the space,” says Pybus. “We want to be open with what we’re doing, have other factories come visit, show them how you can have work incentive programs, how you’re doing your fire safety.” During the next four years, the Trade Hub expects to forge up to 100 partnerships. Working in 18 countries and focusing on 28 value chains, the Trade Hub looks to create at least 60,000 new jobs, increase women’s economic inclusion, provide COVID-19 relief and initiate research and development, as well as drive technological advances, particularly in the agricultural sector.

The facility will become a “model factory” not only for Ghana, but for Africa.

Based on a rigorous selection process, the Trade Hub partners with private companies to transform value chains in poor rural and urban areas. Its goal is to stimulate inclusive econom- ic growth that leads to significant job creation and solutions to the region’s most pressing development challenges. Ethical Apparel Africa, one of the Trade Hub’s first grantees, envisions a model factory that is highly cost-competitive while offering workers real living wages and a healthy workplace. Partnerships — like the one between the Trade Hub and Ethical Apparel Africa —mitigate investment risks in order to create new jobs and livelihoods, increase exports and maximize private investment. “Partnering with the Trade Hub gives investors confidence in our work,” says Schackert. “It allows that virtuous cycle to continue.” The power of partnership This “virtuous cycle” refers to bringing investible capital directly to those ready-to- grow enterprises dedicated to elevating their communities and workers through fair wages and innovation. With the same dedication, the Trade Hub represents a new approach to development as- sistance in the region. USAID and host govern- ments view the private sector as a sustainable, scalable and replicable way to bolster economic development in fragile markets. With $96 mil- lion for co-investment grants, the Trade Hub

expects to leverage an estimated $400 million in private sector capital. “This Trade Hub is different in that it is based on this catalytic model,” says Daniel Moore, Mission Director for USAIDWest Africa. “We are placing our skin in the game with

This Trade Hub is different in that it is based on this catalytic model. We are placing our skin in the game with a private partner by requiring a 50 percent leverage, or one-to-one match.”

-Daniel Moore, Mission Director for USAIDWest Africa

Photos courtesy of Ethical Apparel Africa

16 | Think Creative | Spring 2021

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