If you have been following Sarah and Dani, you may have read Dani’s earlier report on his work in Gonaives, Haiti with Jerusalem S.A. Here’s his final report, and it gives a glimpse into business investment and management across cultural & geographic lines.
Partners Worldwide Intern
I spent 3 months working with Jerusalem S.A. In particular I helped with Jerusalem S.A.s cement block plant, one of Jerusalem S.A.s businesses and with Jerusalem S.A.s sponsorship program. I spent about a week and a half meeting with the Jerusalem staff, and identifying, together with them, Jerusalem Blocs problems. I also took time to get to know the people I was working with. Jerusalem S.A.s staff and I negotiated with an internet service provider in the town and we connected Jerusalem to the internet. I helped them to prepare a production report form and we also prepared a profit and loss statement. Additionally, I helped them to find ways that enabled them to keep track of their expenses. We developed marketing strategies that are helping Jerusalem Bloc improve its sales. I also did a lot of translation work during these processes.
Both North American partners and the in-country partners need to understand each others culture so that their partnership can be successful.
Belief or worldview matters in business development. It is very important for North American partners to understand the belief and business practices of the countries they are partnering with. Understanding the belief and the business practice of the developing country will help the North American partners to better relate to their partners in developing countries and to better help them improve their businesses.
It is important for both the North American and the in-country affiliate to understand what a partnership is. It is not a boss and employee relationship. The in-country affiliate might think that their job is just to receive orders and to please the North American partners. The North American partners might also have a boss attitude toward their developing countries partners.
Training is indispensable in business development
Though the in-country affiliate has great motivation and willingness to develop their businesses, they might lack knowledge to do it.
The in-country affiliate is ready to make good use of the training they will get from their North American affiliate when they understand this training in their cultural context.
It would be fruitful for the North American affiliate to visit the in-country affiliate on a very regular basis in order to learn more about their culture and their worldview. It is also important for the in-country affiliate to visit the North American affiliate in order to understand how they make business and learn about their worldview. It is wise that the partners are cautious in making general assumptions about things that might appear to be understandable to them. It takes time to understand and explain cultural differences.
Technical assistance and good understanding of the relationship between the North American partners will enable the in-country affiliate to make good decisions in order to ameliorate areas of their businesses that need improvement. The partnership between the North American business people and the developing countries businesspeople can help in eradication of poverty in the developing countries.
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