With ECG's Assistance, Ethiopia Competes at the
Highest Level in Ladies Fashion

Ethiopian meeting

Ethiopia's leather garment industry is creating a new business model to help small companies compete against the giants of women's fashion. Assisted by the Economic Competitiveness Group (ECG) working on a USAID-supported project to increase exports, the Ethiopian leather cluster has formed a strategic alliance of 12 firms to design and produce high fashion ladies handbags. With ECG's design, marketing, production and management expertise from Italy and the US, these twelve small firms are seeing success in the fashion centers of Milan, Paris, New York and Los Angeles.

The firms work together, sharing inputs and producing products for buyers that include some of the best known stores in the world. Orders for the bags are coming in at an increasing rate. The alliance calls itself Taytu after an early Ethiopian queen. All products are branded as Taytu "Made in Ethiopia." Now in its second year of assistance, ECG continues to support the initiative with hands-on management and marketing assistance. See the collection at Reuters has produced a 5 minute documentary on the Taytu concept which can be viewed at

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