The CAPS project is a five year program of assistance funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). CAPS is based on a cluster approach which focuses on improving the business environment and fostering cooperation among enterprises in a particular industry sector.
The cluster concept is fundamental. Most industries include various categories of stakeholders. These stakeholders typically include: government as a regulator of commercial practices; educational institutions to prepare members of the workforce; business development services to offer consulting and other management services, and the core industry itself delivering products or services to customers… The cluster process, then, is mainly engaged in coordinating all such stakeholders in pursuit of mutually supportive objectives, most commonly in marketing and image building, improving industry-wide quality, training the workforce, and/or enacting more favorable legislation.
Builds Cluster Competitiveness by assisting industry clusters to identify and achieve strategic objectives. The cluster-based actions serve the common needs of the collective participant companies, improving their ability to market products and influence government, while providing a sound platform to develop and implement their individual objectives. CAPS has selected information technology (IT), tourism and pharmaceuticals as clusters. CAPS offers sector specific expertise in strategy, marketing, financial management and human resources management, as well as cost-shared assistance for event participation, training, infrastructure development and more.
- Strengthens Business Capacity by supporting the ability of companies to manage and grow their businesses. CAPS works closely with Armenian business service providers to help companies to improve productivity, upgrade marketing practices, introduce good governance practices and upgrade the quality of products. CAPS develops and disseminates world class consulting materials then empower local business service providers to deliver training and consulting services at the cluster and enterprise levels.
Develops Policy and Advocacy Capacity of Associations and Think Tanks by strengthening business association / think tank sustainability and their ability to lobby for industry friendly laws and regulations. Efforts include sponsoring research, particularly by Armenian groups, in the areas of competitiveness and facilitating public-private dialogue. CAPS delivers consulting and training to managers of associations and think tanks, assists in developing new fee-based member services, expands and builds capacity in public relations, and offers cost shared grants for research initiatives and even infrastructure.
Enhances Workforce and Skills Development
by improving the skills of the workforce while building job-seeker networks to match suitably qualified labor with employer needs. CAPS co-sponsors pilot training initiatives, assists in the development and placement of new curricula, and provides consulting and training to add capacity to job seeker network managers.
And CAPS has other tools at its disposal to support private sector led growth via cross-cutting initiatives that promote gender equality, expand Diaspora linkages, and encourage information sharing on relevant topics with a wide range of stakeholders.
CAPS is results-oriented and seeks to help its cluster companies: