CIPE Entrepreneurship Update

Pakistan – During the Google for Entrepreneurs Week, the Pakistan Software Houses Association for IT & ITES (P@SHA) led three awareness sessions to inspire university students to pursue entrepreneurship as a career. The workshops featured local serial entrepreneur Jawwad Farid who shared his experience about starting a business and facing failures. In total, the events attracted nearly 500 students and were held in Karachi at the Institute of Business Administration and the National University of Computing & Emerging Sciences. This project is a part of a multiregional CIPE initiative also taking place in Nicaragua and Serbia to help chambers and associations implement youth-focused programs.

CIPE Pakistan participated in a range of Global Entrepreneurship Week celebrations. Two events were organized to train bloggers on writing entrepreneurial stories, and two interview sessions were held to capture and publish entrepreneurs’ stories from Pakistan. To date, 12 such stories have already been published on various blogs and 10 more are forthcoming. Additionally, in cooperation with the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce, CIPE held a seminar to discuss the role of business incubators in various universities. Representatives of 14 companies recommended improvements in the work of these incubators.

Peru – On November 16-17, CIPE partner Instituto Invertir organized the second conference for alumni of its EmprendeAhora program. Roughly 80 alumni from around the country traveled to Lima to attend the two day event which featured new workshops on entrepreneurship and leadership, as well as a discussion on the consolidation of the alumni network. CIPE Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean John Zemko spoke at the event. After the conference, several alumni were interviewed by national media outlets, including El Comercio.

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Support CIPE on #GivingTuesday!


How will you spend next Tuesday?

CIPE is partnering with #GivingTuesday  to celebrate a day of philanthropy on December 3rd.

After enjoying delicious food on Thanksgiving, and indulging in some shopping sprees on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, why not join a global movement to give back to the community?

On Tuesday December 3rd, become part of this exciting movement by supporting CIPE’s efforts to develop young leaders from around the world. Through our ChamberL.I.N.K.S.  program and the Think Tank LINKS Fellowship, CIPE empowers youth to become active leaders in civil society and work toward meaningful change in their communities.

Check out videos for both programs and learn more about how to support here:

Your donation (whether that’s $20 or $100) will help make a difference! By investing, you are developing young people’s skills to become future champions of change!

Creating the Environment for Entrepreneurial Success: CIPE Special Report

CIPE has released the thought leader report “Creating the Environment for Entrepreneurial Success” to mark Global Entrepreneurship Week 2013.

Entrepreneurship drives economic change and innovation while at the same time it expands opportunity and unleashes the initiative of citizens. Entrepreneurs are crucial to building prosperous societies that deliver opportunity to all. In emerging economies around the world, interest in entrepreneurship is currently higher than ever amid burgeoning youth populations and a desire to move up value chains.

Unfortunately, in many developing economies, obstacles in the business environment close off entrepreneurial opportunities to huge swathes of the population. For example, a rural Kenyan entrepreneur must incur the cost of travel to Nairobi to register a business. In Lebanon, 65 percent of small and medium-sized enterprises must pay a bribe to conduct government procedures. Tunisian street vendors, most of whom cannot attain legal status, “live in constant fear of being evicted or harassed by local officials.” Even bankruptcy can be considered a crime in some places.

These barriers add to the usual challenges that entrepreneurs face with regard to capacity, financing, and market access. To be sure, some entrepreneurs prevail in spite of the obstacles. We should celebrate the successful cases that inspire future entrepreneurs. However, most would-be entrepreneurs face restricted options because they lack the connections, status, and resources enjoyed by established businesses and elite families. Women, youth, and non-elite individuals face higher hurdles to growing a business.

Experts, policymakers, and entrepreneurs have now turned their attention toward building entrepreneurship ecosystems. This attention reflects a recognition of the need for multifaceted support for entrepreneurial activity, as well as interactive effects within communities that accelerate efforts of individual entrepreneurs. As lessons in ecosystem development accumulate, it is becoming clear that initiatives to finance, educate, and connect entrepreneurs are outpacing improvements in the business environment. The majority of entrepreneurship programs struggle to incorporate the business environment pillar into the ecosystem.

This special report, Creating the Environment for Entrepreneurial Success, highlights the crucial environmental dimension of entrepreneurship ecosystems. Improving the conditions for entrepreneurship and leveling the playing field goes beyond the effort to help promising entrepreneurs. It expands the pool of potential entrepreneurs, builds incentives for entrepreneurship, eases the costs of doing business, and generates healthy competition. Policy and regulatory reforms should be integrated with comprehensive services to educate, finance, advise, and encourage entrepreneurs.

Continue reading ‘Creating the Environment for Entrepreneurial Success: CIPE Special Report’ »

CIPE Blog Competition


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.


Pakistan-India Young Entrepreneurs’ Bilateral Summit

The Young Entrepreneurs’ Forum (YEF) of the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry organized a Pakistan-India Young Entrepreneurs’ Bilateral Summit in partnership with Young Indians, the Commonwealth Asia Alliance of Young Entrepreneurs, and Aman Ki Asha. CIPE provided technical assistance to YEF in organizing the event, which aimed to reduce barriers among young people in the region, change perceptions, and increase peer-to-peer interaction. The event also sought to spur business opportunities, to increase the flow of trade between India and Pakistan. The participants agreed to present a set of joint policy recommendations established to their respective heads of government.

Policymakers and Grassroots Networks for Smarter Ecosystems

The Global Entrepreneurship Week movement has been at the epicenter of an explosion of interest in entrepreneurship around the globe. In recent years, we have witnessed a progression from raising awareness to exploring ways to support entrepreneurs, and finally to thinking about entrepreneurship ecosystems. Jonathan Ortmans, President of Global Entrepreneurship Week, is one of the leading thinkers who has turned to considering the crucial policy supports for entrepreneurship. He observes a new trend—and a need—toward pushing policy reforms from the top down and responding to initiatives from the grass roots upward.

In his new CIPE Feature Service piece, “Policymakers and Grassroots Networks Find They Need Each Other for Smarter Ecosystems,” Ortmans shares a bit about policy conversations at the Global Entrepreneurship Congress and the interaction that is occurring between entrepreneurship leaders, grassroots networks, and governments. This is a trend to watch and encourage and I look forward with CIPE to engaging in this dialogue with all sectors.

This article is excerpted from the upcoming CIPE report on “Creating the Environment for Entrepreneurial Success” to be published in Fall 2013. 

Kim Bettcher

News from Young Entrepreneurs Group of Asia Pacific

The Young Entrepreneurs Group of Asia Pacific (YEGAP) hosted its annual breakout session during the 27th CACCI Conference on March 14-15, 2013 in Cebu City, Philippines. The breakout session was attended by over 100 delegates and featured distinguished speakers such as YEGAP’s chairperson Anna Marie Periquet, YEGAP’s co-chairman Teisuke Suzuki, and the Undersecretary for Economic Relations and Senior Official of the Philippines for the Asia Pacific Economic Conference Laura Del Rosario. The emphasis of the breakout session was on fostering entrepreneurship as a source for economic growth and wealth as well as a force to combat poverty. Other noteworthy events include the launch of the 5th Asia-Pacific Young Entrepreneur Award that seeks to recognize excellent young entrepreneurs in the Asia-Pacific region who are advocates for corporate social responsibility. The newsletter featured an article on the Confederation of Asia Pacific Chambers of Commerce and Industry Medallion, which was given to YEGAP’s chairman and vice-chairman in recognition of their leadership capacity.

The newsletter also highlights the 8th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Youth and the 4th ASEAN Plus Three Ministerial Meeting on Youth, which concluded on May 23, 2013 in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam. The meetings discussed directions and initiatives to further promote ASEAN youths in contributing towards the future of the ASEAN Community.

CIPE released a new Guide to Youth Entrepreneurship Programs for Chambers of Commerce and Business Associations that is a resource for Chambers of Commerce and Business Associations on private sector job creation and combating high youth unemployment.

The newsletter featured an article on “Employment and Entrepreneurship” written by Patricia Francis, who is the Executive Director of the International Trade Centre which emphasizes the importance of entrepreneurs in creating new employment opportunities worldwide. Through a stronger focus on capacity building and institutional support to respond to market needs, and better access to finance for SMEs, it is possible to increase export and income opportunities for all entrepreneurs, including women, who represent a largely untapped source for entrepreneurship and employment. These matters relate to the core of  ITC’s mission, which is to provide assistance and ensure that entrepreneurs’ ideas and products are correctly aligned to market needs and trends, while at the same time meeting the standards and quality required to compete effectively.

The complete newsletter can be found here. Final-YEGAPnewsletter

Submitted by Confederation of Asia Pacific Chambers of Commerce and Industry

Unreasonable East Africa: Giving High-Impact Entrepreneurs Wings

Unreasonable East Africa is replicating a successful model in Boulder, Colorado called the Unreasonable Institute. Each year, we will unite 10-20 entrepreneurs under one roof in Kampala Uganda for 5 weeks. These entrepreneurs receive customized training and support from 50 world-class mentors, ranging from:

  • Kamran Elahian, an entrepreneur who has started 10 companies (4 of which sold for between $70-$700 million and three of which IPO’d for over $1 billion),
  • Nick Moon, Co-Founder and Former Managing Director of KickStart, a company that has managed to lift 740,000 people out of poverty and created up to 150,000 new businesses, and
  • Asif Saleh, Senior Director of Strategy, Communications, and Capacity of BRAC, which has lifted over 100 million people out of poverty

In the process, Unreasonable Fellows form relationships with corporations and international organizations, receive legal advice & design consulting, and get access to dozens of potential funders.

Applications for the first class of Unreasonable East Africa Open TODAY

We are looking for East Africa’s most Unreasonable entrepreneurs.

Why should entrepreneurs care?

  • Learn from and live with 50 mentors, ranging from a founder of 3 companies with billion-dollar exits; to the director of strategy at BRAC, which has brought 100 million people out of poverty; to the co-founder of Kickstart that has brought 740,000 people out of poverty and created up to 150,000 new businesses.
  • Live with portfolio managers from at least 40 major impact investment funds like Khosla Ventures, Calvert Fund, and Acumen Fund and build relationships with over 250 prospective angel investors.
  • Get deeply customized support: mentors, investors, and training workshops are carefully curated based on each startup’s needs.
  • Join a global network of 100+ early-stage entrepreneurs from 37 countries, 100+ mentors, and the Unreasonable Institute’s 180 partner organizations, including HP, Teach For America, and TED Fellows.

Click here to learn more about what entrepreneurs get

Click here to Apply for Unreasonable East Africa

Deadline for applications is 7th November, 2013. Please feel free to send us a note on

The Search is on!

With Utmost Excitement,
The Unreasonable East Africa Team

Submitted by Unreasonable East Africa Team


GEW Policy Survey

Entrepreneurs, share your policy views by September 15.

“Global Entrepreneurship Week is committed to a world where more people are unleashing their ideas and turning them into promising new startups—solving global challenges and strengthening economic stability everywhere. As part of the preparations for the upcoming GEW 2013 in November, we are conducting a survey to assess the experience of entrepreneurs so that the outcomes may help inform future policy decisions affecting new and young firms.”

Access the survey

Shared by Global Entrepreneurship Week







CIPE Entrepreneurship Update

Peru –The Peruvian Ministry of Production recently launched an entrepreneurship program – Crea y Emprende – for high school students based on the concept of the CIPE-supported EmprendeAhora youth leadership and entrepreneurship program organized by Instituto Invertir. This program was designed by EmprendeAhora alumna and Ministry employee Antonella Romero. It will be carried out in 100 schools throughout Peru, and approximately 5,000 students per year will benefit from the program. The program’s launch event video is available here.

Guatemala – The National Economic Research Center (CIEN) held a press conference to present an institutional report, “Successful Entrepreneurs and Productive Jobs,” to propose ways to strengthen and promote entrepreneurial activity in Guatemala. Seventeen journalists from the major media outlets attended the presentation, including Nuevo Mundo, Emisoras Unidas, Radio Punto, TGW Radio, and news channels TN 23, Noti 7, Telediario, T13 Noticias, and Canal Antigua. This press conference is part of CIPE and CIEN’s effort to increase public support for institutional reform.

Ecuador – Jose Antonio Dutan, Juan Javier Parrales, Evelyn Zamoto, Walter Buenanno, and Rolando Quishpe, participants of CIPE-supported Emprendedores Ecuatorianos youth leadership and entrepreneurship program organized by Instituto Ecuatoriano de Economía y Política held 3 workshops for high school students in Riobamba-Chimborazo, Quevedo-Los Rios, and Loja-Loja, with more than 270 students participating in the workshop. During the workshop, the facilitator and participants learned about and discussed topics in line with those taught by Emprendedores Ecuatorianos such as leadership, democracy, and entrepreneurship.

Pakistan – The Peshawar Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry, working under a small grant from CIPE, has put forward to the regional government a set of policy recommendations to benefit women entrepreneurs in the region. This week the Chamber held a closing event for over 100 participants. The Education Minister agreed to consider including basic business education at the middle school level across the province and a regional focus group for women entrepreneurs will be formed to work on the other policy recommendations. The event was widely covered by the press, including:,, and

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