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AgBiz Program Background

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Application for Business Expansion PrOJECT Assistance
USAID’s AgBiz Program

AgBiz Program Background

USAID supports economic growth in Macedonia through programs that strengthen and improve competitiveness of Macedonian businesses, improve the business environment, and encourage local economic development. The USAID activity to help enhance the competitiveness of Macedonian agribusinesses is called USAID’s AgBiz Program (AgBiz).

The goal of AgBiz is to increase economic growth in Macedonia through expanded, environmentally sustainable production and sales of value-added agricultural products by enabling producers and processors to compete regionally and globally.
Proposal Requirements
AgBiz can currently offer business expansion assistance to firms participating in the fresh vegetables, processed vegetables, gathered wild food products, bottle wine and table grapes businesses that also meet the following requirements:

  1. Legally registered companies with a minimum annual turnover of 12 million MKD; and

  2. Registered cooperatives or PMOs with a minimum annual turnover of 6 million MKD.

AgBiz cannot offer assistance under our business project assistance program to:

  1. Non governmental organizations – except for producer or trade organizations in the above noted value chains;

  2. Private persons; and

  3. Government entities.

AgBiz can offer the following types of assistance to qualifying parties;

  1. Technical Assistance;

  2. Training;

  3. Marketing Support – including attending trade shows;

  4. Assistance to identify viable sources of financing; and

  5. Financial Grants.

AgBiz is seeking project proposals from entities that meet the above criteria. An AgBiz project is defined as a set of business initiation or expansion activities that includes an AgBiz support package. The potential project may include several phases spread out over up to three years; AgBiz support to the project must be less than 50% of the total project cost, and is unlikely to exceed 2.2 million MKD for any one project, however exceptions will be considered. AgBiz reserves the right to support any or none of the applications submitted

Completed applications should be sent to USAID’s AgBiz Program, Ivo Lola Ribar 57/3, 1000 Skopje. e-Mail applications should be sent to
For additional information contact Sonja Petrovska at 321-7060 in Skopje who will direct you to the most appropriate technical person to provide more information or answer your questions. See for additional information on USAID’s AgBiz Program.


* Company/Entity Name:

* Company/Entity Address:
* Tax and Central Register Numbers:
* Key Contact:
* Key Contact Telephone and e-Mail Information:
* Current number of permanent employees _____; number of part time workers ____:
* Value chain involved in the potential project _______________________________:
* Current company total sales ________________:
* Current sales in the value chain related to this project _____________:
*Current company export sales _____________:
* Current export sales in the specific value chain involved in the project _____________:

Qualifying Criteria



Comments if any

Is the project a start up?

Prefer no

Does the project require a change in the existing legislative environment?

Prefer no

Can it be implemented within the term of AgBiz Program (completed by late 2010)?

Yes required

Will it be very unlikely to have a negative environmental impact?

Yes required

Will it increase the demand for Macedonian origin agricultural raw materials?

Strongly prefer yes

Will the project export to EU and/or regional markets?

Strongly prefer yes

Will the project involve sales of Macedonian-origin agriculture-based products that replace similar imported products?

One type of preferred project

Will proven technology be used; i.e., new and unproven technology is not required?

Prefer yes

Does the proposal involve less than 50% cost sharing by AgBiz?

Required yes; lower levels of cost sharing preferred

* Brief company history – including year formed and business trends (maximum half page):

* Project Description (maximum one page):

* Rationale for the project – why is the project being implemented (maximum half page):

* Estimated total project investment in fixed assets _________________:

* Estimated total project working capital required ______________:

* Specific type of assistance requested from AgBiz:

* What is the value of the assistance the company expects from AgBiz _____________:

* In what form is that contribution expected:

* What impact will the project have on overall company sales growth, export sales, purchases from farmers and employment (maximum half page):

The criteria AgBiz will use to screen and select proposals are shown in the table on the following page. All of this information will only be developed for proposals that pass the initial review stages.
All proposals will go through a three stage review process, and a proposal will only pass into a subsequent stage of it is approved in the previous stage. These stages are:
Screening – done by AgBiz staff using the information submitted by the proponent in this application.
Assessment – additional information is collected and the proposal becomes more detailed. At the end of the Assessment stage the Proposal Review Committee will pass or reject the proposal.
Development – when all needed information is collected and analyzed and the support agreements are negotiated. At the end of the Development stage the Proposal Review Committee will pass or reject the proposal. If it is passed a support agreement will be signed with the proponent and the proposal becomes a project, and implementation begins.

Qualifying Criteria


Comments if any

  1. Involves one of the selected value chains;

  1. Is consistent with GoM objectives and EU integration;

  1. Is consistent with AgBiz/USAID investment parameters (preferences and restrictions);

  1. Does it overlap with other USAID/other donor projects;

  1. Is based on the existing legislative environment;

  1. Is implemented within the term of AgBiz Program;

  1. Is very unlikely to have a negative environmental impact.

Strategic Fit (40 points)


Comments if any

  1. Proponents proportion of the total cost of the activity. (8 points)

  1. Increased exports or substituted imports, i.e., increase the Macedonian-origin market share (local or export) of agriculture-based products; (8 points)

  1. Anticipated return on AgBiz/USAID investment (i.e., cost vs. value of new sales & employment); (8 points)

  1. Increased employment, especially in rural areas, and improved utilization of the Macedonian labor force; (6 points)

  1. Potential number of participating producers and SMEs, i.e., broad-based impact; (5 points)

  1. Increased number of units of production; (5 points)

Technical Approach (32 points)


Comments if any

  1. Characteristics for sustainability (managerial, economic, environmental, & social); (8 points)

  1. Achievable comparative and/or competitive advantage in an identified market; (6 points)

  1. Proponents understanding of and the availability of a viable and growing market; (7 points)

  1. Shift from lower to higher value added products; (4 points)

  1. Width of market window, i.e., a length of selling season; (4 points)

  1. Utilization of existing technology; i.e., new and unproven technology not required; (3 points)

Organizational Capabilities (24 points)


Comments if any

  1. Proponents have a good track record in this business and/or market; (8 points)

  1. Proponents have the managerial capacity potential to develop and implement the activity; (8 points)

  1. Proponents are providing a significant proportion of the total cost of the activity; (8 points)

Gender Considerations (4 points)

  1. Has a positive Gender Impact (4 pts)

Cost Effectiveness


Comments if any

  1. Are cost reasonable, allowable, and allocable?

  1. Is the proposal cost effective?

  1. Does the proposal have an acceptable percentage of cost share/leveraging?

Total Score

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