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West Africa Trade and Investment Hub Supported $1.8 Million Loan for an Ivorian Apparel Company

Originally published by Trade Hub Communications

O’sey is Côte d’Ivoire’s leading apparel factory. It is growing, in part thanks to vital, timely assistance from the USAID-funded West Africa Trade and Investment Hub. A recent $1.8 million loan was approved from Bridge Bank Group Côte d’Ivoire (Bridge Bank) that will enable O’sey to complete the construction of its new plant facility ($1 million), buy new equipment ($360,000), and support its working capital requirements ($467,000). Drawing on the loan funds, O’sey will hire experts to train its team on international quality standards and launch the production of several new international orders.

The Trade Hub has been providing business advisory services to O’sey through its Financial Advisor, Group’O. Following the $1.8 million loan approval, Group’O will continue to support O’Sey on financial management while pursuing negotiations with Bridge Bank and other banks for a follow-on loan of $500,000 to purchase additional equipment to further expand O’sey’s factory. O’sey has plans to begin an outreach campaign to train and employ unemployed youth.

Over the two years, the Trade Hub has supported O’sey in reducing production costs and achieving international quality and environmental standards through its business advisory services. Support from the Trade Hub has included:

  • Business advisory assistance on the development of financial statements and using financial projections to make strategic decisions. Stronger financial statements also directly contributed to O’sey’s ability to secure a $1.8 million loan.
  • An industrial engineer engaged by the Trade Hub to reorganize the factory floor lay out and production line set up. As a result of this reorganization, machine operators have reduced the time to produce one shirt from 23 to 15 minutes.
  • Technical assistance through the Trade Hub in product development, pattern making and cutting to boost the factory’s ability to produce at international standards.
  • Middle management received training on the use of pattern cutting tools to improve patterns and sample development to meet international standards.

Banyan Global is a subcontractor to Abt Associates on the West Africa Trade Hub Project.