Archive for the ‘Latin America’ Category.

CIPE Blog Competition


CALLING ALL BLOGGERS! CIPE invites you to participate in our first Blog Competition.

We are looking for bloggers who have a passion for democratic and economic reforms and their role in development. You don’t need to be a professional writer or affiliated with an organization — anyone who can tell a compelling story is welcome to submit their best post.

Your blog post should be in English and address one of the following three topics:

1. How can social media empower citizens to participate in democratic dialogue on constructive reform?

2. What experiences from other countries can guide the role of youth in your country’s democratic and economic development?

3. What story or personal experience can you share to illustrate the need and possible solutions for democratic and economic reforms in your country?

The submission deadline is December 2, 2013. Authors of the three best posts will each receive a $250 honorarium and CIPE will publish the winning entries on the CIPE Development Blog.
Rules and submission guidelines can be found here.


CIPE Women Entrepreneurs Update

Peru – CIPE partner the Institute for Liberty and Democracy held a workshop in Cusco aimed at promoting business participation among indigenous women and building the capacity of indigenous women’s associations. The workshop provided over 40 participants with the legal and economic tools to pursue entrepreneurial ventures, know their rights, and advocate for removing challenges that affect the local business environment. CIPE consultant Marina Stadthagen presented at the workshop on association governance and the importance of business associations in democratic societies.

Nigeria – CIPE hosted a three-day capacity-building workshop for 24 women representing 15 Nigerian business and professional women’s associations at CIPE’s field office in Lagos. The workshop on association management covered topics including best practices for functional boards and management; strategic planning; membership recruitment and retention; and service provision. CIPE Nigeria Country Director Wumi Gbadamosi, CIPE Field Representative Camelia Bulat, and CIPE Program Officer Yana Hongla facilitated the workshop. CIPE is working to enhance the capacity of business and professional women’s organizations to effectively advocate for their members’ interests.

Zimbabwe – CIPE partner the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) hired two consultants to provide assistance to the Women Alliance of Business Associations of Zimbabwe (WABAZ). The first consultant met with two WABAZ members to provide technical assistance on association management and membership development, while the second consultant met with five WABAZ members in Harare and Bulawayo to solicit input on the development of a strategic plan to guide the informal coalition over the next five years. This is part of a CIPE program with ZNCC to empower women’s business associations to advocate for policy and regulatory reforms on issues affecting women entrepreneurs.

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Women Owned Businesses in Jamaica

Yaneek Page is president of the Women Business Owners (WBO) association in Jamaica.  WBO was founded in 2003 to foster and promote the success of women business owners through education, research, mentorship and education.

In 2005-2006 Women Business Owners (WBO) Jamaica completed a study of women and family owned business in Jamaica (the survey counted 2,916 family-owned businesses (FOBs) and 1,718 owned by women (WOBs)). The study was done in partnership with the Jamaica Conference Board, the Bank of Nova Scotia Jamaica Ltd., the United States Agency for International Development and Mona School of Business at the University of the West Indies. The themes covered in the study included the business characteristics, business leadership, business relationships, succession and resource planning, and governance and citizenship. The key findings from the study were:

  •  There were 315 operations categorised as both FOBs and WOBs, largely based on the uncertainty of respondents attached to those businesses.
  • The highest number of FWOBs, approximately 1,512, was recorded in the Kingston and St. Andrew metropolitan area, skewed 60 per cent to FOBs; followed by St. Catherine with 1,308; and St. Ann with 449.

Building on this report, WBO has recently launched a program with Scotiabank Jamaica and the Inter-American Development Bank to support businesswomen who seek to grow their enterprises.  Under the new endeavor, Scotiabank has set aside J$300 million for members of WBO who need working capital, re-tooling of processes, upgraded technology, and other investments needed for growth.

The executive summary which is reproduced here, details in point form the main findings of the study: Continue reading ‘Women Owned Businesses in Jamaica’ »

Women Advance the Fundamentals for Haiti’s Future

Originally posted on CIPE’s Development Blog March 5, 2012

Haitian president Michel Martelly visits the women involved in drafting a National Platform of Action in Port-au-Prince on March 1, 2012. (Photo: Haitienne Magazine)

by Stephanie Foster

I just returned from Haiti, where I was working with women convened by the Haitian group Femmes en Democratie to develop a women’s policy platform.  In Creole, nap vanse means we advance, and it is critical that Haitians move forward together to build a stronger country and a stronger economy.

The priorities identified can help both women and men prosper, but women’s participation in Haiti’s political, economic, and social institutions is critical.  Women comprise 52% of Haiti’s population, and approximately 44% of households are led by women.  Like every country, Haiti cannot make economic and social progress if it leaves half of its people behind and if it fails to tap the diverse experiences, talents and vision of its women.

Continue reading ‘Women Advance the Fundamentals for Haiti’s Future’ »

Case Story on Transfer of Knowledge for Women Entrepreneurs

Dear Ladies,

I want to share with you this recognition from USAID, for our participation in the Knowledge Management Impact Challenge. Our case based on an experience on women entrepreneurs was the finalist. We are very proud to tell at the conference the importance of the transfer of knowledge for women entrepreneurs.

Thanks to women like you who motivates and inspire us to continue working for women.

Continue reading ‘Case Story on Transfer of Knowledge for Women Entrepreneurs’ »

Perspectives on Female Entrepreneurial Spirit in Latin America

The labor market in times of economic crisis leads to greater female participation (to compensate for male unemployment) even though the working conditions in the region remain poor and the gap in pay is unequal. The entrepreneurial spirit of Latin American women is present by demonstrating their skills and abilities proactive in seeking their own businesses. The entrepreneurial skills of women in the region play a predominant role in the microenterprise sector.

Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) play a key role in the economic and social development of the region. Most of the growth in manufacturing comes from small and medium sized enterprises, which produce an elevated percentage of the industrial output and provide employment for the rural and urban labor force.

Continue reading ‘Perspectives on Female Entrepreneurial Spirit in Latin America’ »

Enterprising Women in Paraguay

This July, CIPE partner Fundación Paraguaya (FP) hosted a workshop for enterprising women. The 75 female participants are members of the Oportunet Network, an organization that works to encourage entrepreneurship for women living in rural cities. The workshop, held at FP’s Escuela Agrícola San Francisco was held over a two day period with activities, lectures, and discussions of technical tools required for entrepreneurship. CIPE is working with Fundación Paraguaya to develop public awareness of entrepreneurship and the value of entrepreneurial qualities and competencies in building a well-functioning democratic society.

Kim Bettcher

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