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TIV provides expert analysis on the “Use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Fostering Entrepreneurship and Improving Business Environment in Haiti and Guyana” for the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB)

TIV was approached by IADB to conduct a comprehensive study on AI’s possible contributions to improving the business climate in Haiti and Guyana with special emphasis on start-ups and small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs).   The motivation for this study arose from recent initiatives enacted by the country of Guyana to not only improve on its historically agriculture-based economy, but to also introduce diversification of its GDP and expansion of its skilled workforce. This report was in part inspired by recent discovery of offshore oil, which can allow Guyana to invest its “gas-money” into education and cultivating intellectual property, and not falling into “resource curse”. This is a similar strategy as countries such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE, who are trying to build a diversified economy beyond Hydrocarbons.

The study explored many facets of Artificial Intelligence, its role in business investment, and towards cultivating entrepreneurial human capital, with the targeted focus of using these interventions in developing countries such as Guyana and Haiti. The report explored how AI could be used to improve World Bank’s Doing Business (DB) indicators, and also be used by SMEs to foster their growth.  Central to the investigation was a characterization of the current opportunities and barriers faced by Guyana and Haiti, in addition to a prospective analysis on how these countries will fare should the velocity of its digitization stagnate. In this case, TIV elucidated the current status of technology, ICT infrastructure and human capital. Further, the study featured discussion on the regulatory and governance issues highlights key areas that need reform, such as establishing regulatory frameworks around intellectual property and technological transfer.

The analysis included a brief primer on AI, its current status and use cases, and how it will continue to shape the future of individual nations, regions and the globe. It then laid four specific areas for countries, such as Guyana and Haiti, to exploit the benefits of AI: 1. Using AI for Business 2. Using AI for Building Entrepreneurial Capital 3. Using AI for fostering social entrepreneurship and 4. Using AI in the public sector to improve investor climate. This includes the challenge of the integration of AI and Big Data into the existing infrastructure, which will ultimately yield cost-reductions via automation of agribusiness and establishing more robust and accessible digital financial programs (which leads to greater ease of transactions and ability to for businesses to profit in a consistent and regulated manner. However, there is a technical “activation energy” barrier to surmount).  The analyses, though aimed at Haiti and Guyana, uncovered key findings that are relevant to application in most developing countries. It is expected that the findings of the report will inform IADB interventions in LAC in the form of loans and technical assistance.

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