DFI was founded in 1992 by Diane M. Willkens. Building on previous international business development work, Ms. Willkens realized that many US corporations lacked the networks and know-how to leverage opportunities of the World Bank, regional development banks, and other US export and investment promotion agencies. At the time, relevant information was difficult to locate so local presence and established institutional contacts were the only viable way to secure support from these organizations. Equipped with the necessary knowledge, networks, and influence at its outset, DFI was formed and quickly attracted an initial cohort of best-in-class US-based multinational corporations seeking to accelerate emerging market growth and development.
It was not long before DFI extended its product line to make greater use of an expanding portfolio of capabilities:
-Solid understanding of international finance organizations
-Exceptional experience in emerging business development
-Wide-ranging networks in the international development community
-Extensive base of partners to expand DFI's reach, expertise and capabilities
This diversification led DFI to play more proactive and engaged roles in the development and launch of clients’ global emerging market strategies, including targeted relationship-building with international development agencies around the globe – such as the Inter-American, Asian, and African Development Banks, bilateral donors throughout the developed world, and select agencies of the United Nations agencies.
Market Entry & Expansion
For corporations seeking to create or expand a presence in emerging markets, capitalizing on the activities of international development organizations can be key to accelerated success. With more than $200 B annually in international aid aimed at nearly every economic sector including e-government, agro-industry, health, education, infrastructure, environment, energy, and much more, we design and execute effective strategies for our clients that, at their core, are driven by targeted sales and market development efforts through the projects and initiatives funded by the international development organizations.
Product Launch & Repositioning
Introducing new products into emerging markets can be a daunting task. Over the past 16 years, DFI has successfully launched new product lines for its clients by getting involved early - in most cases, our involvement begins years before the products are commercialized. Our programs are bottom-line driven and succeed as a result of the partnerships we forge with international development agencies, the non-government community, local governments, and targeted thought leaders.
Corporate Social Responsibility
DFI has successfully worked with clients to build corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs in emerging markets that meet shareholder aspirations and deliver concrete development results on the ground. We help identify the right niche, pinpoint the necessary partners, and cultivate the needed relations to ensure successful delivery of program initiatives.
Procurement System Design & Evaluation
The effectiveness of international aid projects can be undermined in the absence of well-designed and managed procurement processes. Utilizing our proprietary systems, DFI undertakes evaluations of procurement and accountability systems to help international aid agencies ensure that their funds are being used to procure goods and services in a fair, competitive, and transparent manner.
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