The CEIWorld.org web site is administered and maintained by the Center for Economic Initiatives (CEI). This page explains some of CEI’s more important activities.
The Center for Economic Initiatives is a not-for-profit business development organization devoted to providing assistance and training for organizations in the developing world. CEI has been working since 1995 to increase the competitiveness of entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized firms in the developing world and in emerging democracies. Our expertise also extends to strengthening non-governmental and business support organizations. Our study tour program, based on the technical assistance program of the Marshall Plan, provides business leaders and government officials with the insights necessary to make their enterprises more productive, thus increasing living standards for individuals, communities, and countries.
Our industry experts conduct on-site consulting assignments at businesses and institutions to help them increase sales, lower costs, introduce new products, and achieve higher profitability.
Our volunteer consultants serve as American ambassadors of good will, transferring knowledge and expertise to create sustainable development. By helping people in the less developed world improve their lives, they help increase the standard of living in these nations.
CEI is based in Cincinnati Ohio. In other countries we operate, we operate out of the offices of our partner organizations.
CEI programs are primarily funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and other government agencies. Activities are also funded indirectly by World Bank loans to other countries.
CEI Helps America
As a partner with USAID, CEI is deeply involved in the U.S. foreign assistance program. We help people in developing countries and emerging nations build strong private sectors that help to reduce poverty, promote self-determination and ensure global stability. CEI improves trade opportunities for American companies, helps to keep the U.S. economy strong and enhances national security.
Training and Technical Assistance
The Center for Economic Initiatives (CEI) is an independent, non-profit corporation based in Cincinnati, USA whose primary objective is to provide industries in developing nations with training and technical information so they can improve their productivity enabling them to produce high quality, low cost consumer goods for domestic and export markets and higher quality services for their populations. CEI pursues these activities in Central and Eastern Europe, Central Asia and Africa.
CEI is supported by contributions of cash, pro-bono consulting and goods/services from US citizens, and grants from Corporations, Foundations and Governments.
The Mission of the Center for Economic Initiatives (CEI) is to promote economic development within developing countries, including Ukraine and other countries of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.
- To improve productivity and the competitive production of goods and services within the target countries for both domestic and export markets.
- To encourage the transfer of technical know-how and training.
- To encourage foreign investment and other business ties with the target countries.
- To sponsor Marshall Plan type “study tours” to the U.S., by which appropriate people from target countries may learn first-hand, world class management, production and marketing skills for their respective industries, and make contacts for potential joint venture and other business partnerships.
- To support trade, investment and other forms of economic linkages between U.S. firms and companies within the target countries.
- To support the exchange of U.S. experts in various fields of expertise, to transfer technology and conduct training for specific industries and individuals.
- To assist the transfer of U.S. technological know-how and other business-related information, via a new Productivity Center and/or collaboration with other business centers.
- To manage a web site for exchanging commercial and investment information and promoting business development in Ukraine.
Major activities include
- Conduct of technical study tours on the model pioneered by the Marshall Plan.
- Operate Technical Resource Centers in various areas.
- Training in developing economies on a wide range of business topics and issues.
- Advising US companies wishing to conduct business in the former Soviet Union.
- Foster economic growth and development by bringing together parties from the US and developing countries.
Technical Assistance is the cornerstone of CEI’s activities, mainly provided in the two forms described below.
People come to an understanding of a market economy best by seeing for themselves what works. Study tours expose sophisticated and dedicated leaders in specific industries to modern manufacturing, technology and marketing methods and techniques. They visit enterprises in their own industry over a multi-state area of the U.S. Tour notes are compiled and published for use in the home country. Upon return home, participants conduct seminars so the information may be widely disseminated.
These Marshall Plan type study tours are described in greater detail in the article Jump-Starting Ex-Communist Economies that appeared in the January 1994 issue of Foreign Affairs magazine. The authors of this article are collaborating with CEI on the design and implementation of its study tour program.
In preparation for Marshall Plan study tours of Kharkiv industry to the U.S., a survey of Kharkiv industry was undertaken, financed by the Guttman Foundation of New York. Summary conclusions are included in the Survey of Kharkiv Industry. The survey concluded that there was a great need for technical assistance in the form of study tours for various key industry subsectors. This information was printed in the January/February 1996 issue of The International Economy magazine under the title: Kharkiv Report Card.
In the course of its work in Ukraine, CEI published an article entitled: Business Differences – USA and Ukraine. Although some of the environmental conditions have changed, many of the same conditions continue to exist.
CEI occasionally organizes short term intern programs to provide individuals from developing countries with in-depth and practical experience that can best be obtained by working in a single enterprise.
Technical Resource Center
A Technical Resource Center can be located in selected cities to provide targeted local industry with specific technical and market information, including:
- video tapes
- training manuals
- Provide technical, productivity and marketing information to industry in the area.
- Provide coordination for productivity and other business oriented training programs.
- Conduct industrial training courses.
- Support a professional network of persons interested in productivity.
- Bring together American and local business leaders.
CEI has the services of many outstanding business leaders, closely connected to the manufacturing and business communities of Cincinnati and the U.S. Midwest. Cincinnati is well suited as a base for CEI activities, given its strong manufacturing base within a major agricultural region. CEI has expertise in many fields, including:
|Accounting and Finance||General Business|
|Marketing / Advertising||Public Utilities|
|Leland M. Cole, President||Former machine tool and computer industry executive|
|James L. Titus, Vice President||Architectural industry executive|
|Stan Bahler, Treasurer||Finance and accounting|
|Daniel H. McKinney, Secretary||Attorney|
|Julia C. Stephen, Assoc. Treasurer||Certified Public Accountant (CPA)|
|Thomas R. Dunn||Architectural industry executive|
|Sam M. Harrell||Business valuations, Agribusiness|
|John H. Kuhn||International packaging executive/consultant|
|Philip J. Murphy||Businessman|
|Jan Sherbin||PR Director|
|Dr. Belal U. Siddique||International trade consultant|
|Bruce L. Vaillancourt||Former food processing executive|
|Edward M. Watson||Radio/TV production, advertising/marketing training|
Marshall Plan Experts
|James M. Silberman||Consultant, ran technical assistance program of the original post W.W.II Marshall Plan|
|Charles Weiss, Jr.||International technology consultant|
CEI also maintains the www.ukrainebiz.com web site. The primary purpose of that web site is to link Ukrainian and Western businesses, to locate trading and investment partners, and to publicize services and products which are available for export to and from Ukraine. In addition, it provides a forum for technical reports. The language of ukrainebiz.com is primarily English since the information is provided for peoples of all nations. Both Ukrainian and Russian are also used.