Innovation and Entrepreneurship

A pioneer of developing and implementing strategies for national competitiveness, DAI now works at the forefront of development strategies around low-carbon growth.

We work across all sectors—from rural agricultural to large-scale manufacturing and service industries—to boost firm-level innovation and productivity and develop ecosystems that foster innovation, entrepreneurship, and employment generation. We take a commercial approach to stimulating production efficiency and quality improvements, through new technologies and improved workforce skills. We work with companies to adopt innovative business models, reach high-value markets, leverage investments, and access new technologies.

We engage all stakeholders—policymakers, private sector, training institution, and business service providers—to generate partnerships that offer entrepreneurship and employment opportunities, particularly for youth.

Our Experts


Tim Bergstrom leads the Somali Business Catalytic Fund, managing the operational and grant teams to achieve the program objectives.

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Edwin Berk has made a career of building the businesses of professional services companies where public and private sectors intersect. After a brief stint teaching at Yale University, he joined a public policy consulting firm.

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Peter Brimble has worked extensively in Central, Southeast, and North Asia on industrial efficiency, investment promotion, foreign direct investment, private sector development, and public policy issues.

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Greta Greathouse has more than 35 years of experience innovating emerging markets and coupling the private and public sector for technology development.

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Kate Heuisler is a development practitioner with 15 years of experience designing and managing development programs in 16 countries.

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Bobby Jefferson, a leader in the field of information and communications technology for development, is working to expand DAI’s range of digital health services.

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John Jepsen has expertise in applying market systems approaches and making markets work for the poor (M4P) strategies to economic growth programming, as well as specializations in various financial inclusion and capital mobilization topics.

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Danijela Kostic performs management, coordination, planning, and assessments of information and communications technology (ICT) projects, writing technical documentation, reviewing ICT components for DAI projects, working on proposals with ICT components, and designing tailored solutions for project beneficiaries.

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Kristi Ragan leads The Invest Project, a flagship USAID program to research, develop, and build “blended finance” solutions for development challenges.

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Our Projects


Afghanistan—Promote: Women in the Economy (WIE)

The U.S Agency for International Development, in continuing its longstanding commitment to women in Afghanistan, has launched the Afghan Women’s Leadership in the Economy project.

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East Africa—Trade and Investment Hub

The East Africa Trade and Investment Hub is the U.S. Government’s flagship project under the presidential Trade Africa initiative, which works to increase U.S.-Africa trade and investment, regional integration, and competitiveness.

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Jordan—Workforce Development (WFD) Project

In 2014, the Government of Jordan responded to the King’s call for a 10-year economic blueprint for meeting a set of challenging objectives. Key among the objectives was “to enhance policies related to human resources, link education policies to labor market demands, focus on building a labor force through vocational training, especially youth, so that they gradually replace guest labor, and encourage women to join the labor market.”

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Lebanon—Industry Value Chain Development (LIVCD)

The Lebanon Industry Value Chain Development (LIVCD) project is a five-year program aimed at improving Lebanon’s economic stability and providing income-generating opportunities for small business while creating jobs for the rural population, in particular women and youth.

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Palestine Finance for Jobs (F4J)

One of the most important political, social, and economic challenges facing Palestine today is the lack of sustainable and productive employment opportunities for the state’s growing population. Creating more jobs for women, youth, and marginalized people in particular is seen as one of the most effective paths toward reducing overall poverty in Palestine.

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Indonesia—Jalin

The Jalin program, meaning “intertwined or interwoven” in Indonesian, promotes locally developed solutions to reduce maternal and child mortality in Indonesia by working with diverse partners to co-create and co-invest in new life-saving ideas.

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DAI History: 40 Years of Excellence

DAI was founded in 1970 by three graduates of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government intent on providing a more dynamic and effective brand of development assistance. See how DAI is turning this American success story, into a global one.

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