The Liberia Investing for Business Expansion Program (IBEX) has received this year’s Golden Image Award (GIA) from the Liberia Crusader for Peace for its tirelessly efforts in providing technical assistance and empowering local businesses in the country.
GIA is a national Liberian award given to individuals or organizations that have made selfless contributions to peace and humanity, nationally and internationally.
IBEX, which is a USAID-funded program, was selected in the international category from among four other organizations after a thorough vetting process, according to the organizers of the GIA.
Deputy Internal Affairs Minister Ranney B. Jackson presented the award.
Minister Jackson lauded IBEX’s program for the significant progress it has made towards promoting Liberian entrepreneurship.
He also hailed the program’s continued support to Liberian businesses and efforts to improving the national economy.
IBEX provides financial services to micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises across seven sectors in Liberia, including agribusiness, clean energy, hospitality, and logistics/ transportation.
IBEX provides training to Liberian banks, non-bank financial institutions, and enterprises in areas such as access to finance, basic record keeping, social impact investing, and credit risk management.
IBEX Chief of Party, Mrs. Watchen Harris Bruce, accepted the award, which included a trophy, a medal and a certificate.
Thanking the organizers for the honor and recognition, she accepted the award on behalf of USAID Liberia, Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance, the International Executive Service Corps, and the entire IBEX team.
Also speaking at the award ceremony, Madam Deborah Malac, United States Ambassador accredited to Liberia, said that IBEX’s programs have helped many Liberian business entrepreneurs accomplished their dreams since it (IBEX) started in 2012.
To date, Ambassador Malac said IBEX has worked with 728 potential clients and has provided loan advisory and loan facilitation services to 572 micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.
In addition, IBEX supported the development of 31 loan applications, resulting in US$1.22 million in loans to local businesses by local partner banks, International Bank Limited (IB) and Ecobank Liberia.
The U.S Ambassador then commended the 2014 Golden Image Award organizers for recognizing the many contributions made by the government and people of the United States—through USAID—to rebuild and improve Liberia’s financial sector.
Attending the award ceremony were several government officials, including Defense Minister J. Brownie Samukai, Jr., Deputy Internal Affairs Minister Ranny Jackson, Monrovia City Mayor Clara Doe Mvogo; members of the Diplomatic Corps and USAID Liberia Mission Director John Mark Winfield. Armed Forces of Liberia Chief of Staff, Brigadier General Daniel Ziankahn, also graced the occasion.