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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

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

Continue reading ‘CIPE Entrepreneurship Update’ »

NFTE Announces 2013 World Series of Innovation

To celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week 2013, the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) will once again host the annual World Series of Innovation presented by Microsoft! This year’s Series will feature challenges from Microsoft, Coca-Cola, Pitney Bowes, SAP, and a special group of challenges from the Howard G. Buffett Foundations’ 40 Chances initiative.  NFTE is inviting educators and students from around the world to participate and engage in this fun, creative, inventive process – all with a chance for some great prizes!

Here is a step by step guide for getting involved:

1. Follow the link provided. This will give you access to this year’s planning toolkit, which provides a clear understanding of this year’s WSI guidelines. Teachers and program leaders are encouraged to register now to receive the toolkit and accompanying curriculum early, in order to include the World Series of Innovation as they plan their fall schedule.

2. Reach out to program managers, teachers, and students. Linked below are the outreach tools you will need to share all things WSI.  Please feel free to customize the letter provided to reach out to your partners and educators and encourage them to register now and receive their toolkit.

3. Host an “Innovation Day,” or simply have your program managers/teachers incorporate WSI into their programs.  This year will feature “Innovation Day” events around the world; events during which teams of students can work with dedicated volunteers on their innovation, from the brainstorming and opportunity recognition phase all the way through the complete submission process in just one day.  A toolkit for planning your own Innovation Day is also available on request.

4. Keep your audience informed about WSI on your social media platforms. Provided in your outreach tools are Facebook and Twitter posts targeted for immediate use, post-launch, and voting, so we hope you will promote WSI every step of the way!

NFTE is happy to answer any inquiries which can be submitted by emailing

Help Empower Nepal’s Entrepreneurs!

CIPE’s long time partner Samriddhi, the Prosperity Foundation in Nepal is seeking to better understand why so many of their independent and small businesses never grow. What is preventing these mom-and-pop shops in Nepal from engaging in the formal economy, accessing credit, and growing their operations? What barriers do these entrepreneurs face?

Samriddhi wants to document and help tell the stories about what challenges these entrepreneurs face every day. But Samriddhi needs your help first. Using crowd funding, Samriddhi partnered with the Atlas Network: for up to $7,500 that Samriddhi raises through its crowd funding campaign, the Atlas Network will match dollar-to-dollar.

There’s only 11 days left to help them out! So read about Samriddhi’s crowd funding campaign and watch their video to help understand how you can help empower Nepali entrepreneurs.


Next week is Global Entrepreneurship Week, a worldwide celebration of the people whose big ideas drive innovation and create jobs. Join CIPE on Tuesday, November 13, from 10:30 AM to 12:00 PM EST, on the hashtag #GEWChat for a global discussion of how entrepreneurship contributes to economic, social, and democratic development. (Find out what time the chat will be in your country.)

Joining us will be CIPE partners and entrepreneurs from around the world, including:

Sarfaz Rahman is the CEO of Dawood Foundation, part of Dawood Group, one of the top family-owned businesses in Pakistan. He is a Chartered Accountant who has worked at Unilever, Glaxo Smith Kline, Pepsico, and Engro Foods.

EmprendeAhora is a program run by CIPE partner Instituto Invertir that teaches entrepreneurship and leadership skills to students in Peru.

Camelia Bulat is a CIPE consultant and the director of the Regional Center for Organization Management in Romania.

Rami Shamma is Project Manager for the Development for People and Nature Association in Lebanon, which works on youth entrepreneurship issues.

…and more!

How Does Inclusive Economic Growth Support Democratic Participation?

On October 16, CIPE organized a workshop on economic inclusion at the Lima Assembly of the World Movement for Democracy. Social and economic inclusion have become priority themes in ensuring that democracy delivers for all. We wanted to explore possible routes to inclusion and the implications for giving voice to excluded populations.

Our first presenter, Selima Ahmad, founder of the Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that in Bangladesh entrepreneurship has given women a voice. Women entrepreneurs have gained the ability to make decisions within the family, and men are even joining wives’ businesses. The women’s chamber advocated successfully for women entrepreneurs to get loans without collateral. Members of the chamber who have done well now create jobs and provide help to other micro entrepreneurs.

In Peru, entrepreneurship provides the only route to move up in life for many who lack formal education. Daniel Cordova, president of Instituto Invertir, described the EmprendeAhora program, which educates young Peruvians under 25 on democratic and market concepts. This program engages youth by addressing their personal and professional interests. The key to the success of the program is giving them a concrete, entrepreneurial activity, such as starting a business or a non-government organization.

Osama Mourad from Egypt, CEO of Arab Finance, Continue reading ‘How Does Inclusive Economic Growth Support Democratic Participation?’ »

CIPE Entrepreneurship Update

Nepal – Samriddhi, the Prosperity Foundation has initiated a monthly lecture series entitled “The Freedom School,” inviting various policy experts to speak with both graduates of the Arthalaya youth entrepreneurship program and Samriddhi, the Prosperity Foundation staffers. The series will help build the organization’s network of advisors and experts, which in turn will support advocacy efforts around the Nepal Economic Growth Agenda. The first lecture was held on August 31, with a presentation by Director General of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Dr. Hemant Dabadi on changing trends in Nepal’s international trade.

Ukraine – On August 15, CIPE partner the Izmail Municipal Entrepreneurship Support Foundation completed an outreach process that included a series of focus group meetings with local business leaders. The outreach was part of an effort to identify priority issues for the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) community in the run-up to Ukraine’s parliamentary elections set for late October. Based on input from 80 members of the local business community, the head of the Izmail Municipal Entrepreneurship Support Foundation Valentina Stoikova issued a public statement listing priorities that include the reduction of taxes, an increase in economic development funds from the government, and the reinstatement of a vocational training program operated by the government. The effort in Izmail is part of a National Endowment for Democracy (NED) -funded program in 10 Ukrainian regions to highlight the needs of the SME community over the course of the parliamentary election campaign.

Peru – CIPE partner Instituto Invertir organized a meeting with several Lima-based EmprendeAhora alumni to discuss the agenda for the upcoming alumni conference on September 29-30. Two hundred program alumni have confirmed their attendance for this first ever EmprendeAhora alumni conference. Regarding the next version of the educational program, Invertir has already received more than 2,300 applications in the run up to the September 7 deadline. Additionally, Invertir’s program coordinator was invited to speak about EmprendeAhora on the national television program, “Punto de Vista.”

Continue reading ‘CIPE Entrepreneurship Update’ »

Promoting Youth Entrepreneurship in Pakistan

Originally posted on the CIPE Development Blog

Participants at the Young Entrepeneurs’ Forum event. (Photo: CIPE Staff)

“The Young Entrepreneurs’ Forum is committed to addressing the prevalence of barriers that prevent aspiring entrepreneurship from taking the first step towards an entrepreneurial career” – Shaban Khalid, Chairman, YEF.

Promoting entrepreneurship is an important priority for Pakistan’s economic development. According to Global Entrepreneurship Monitor’s 2010 report, Pakistan lags in startups, with less than half the rate of early-stage entrepreneurial activity found in other factor-driven economies. Part of the problem is that most young people coming out of universities prefer searching for a job instead of exploring entrepreneurial career opportunities – one of the key findings of CIPE-P@SHA dialogue with students and start-ups. Even young people who choose to enter paid employment often have trouble finding a job, are badly paid, or wind up in casual or informal jobs, according to the World Bank.

To help encourage a more entrepreneurial spirit among young people, the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry recently organized a major conference for young entrepreneurs focusing on the theme of “Inspiring a New Wave of Entrepreneurship,” part of the Young Entrepreneurs’ Forum. Established in 2008, the goal of the Forum is to encourage young entrepreneurs to take on a role in policy advocacy and nurturing the next generation chamber leadership. The conference was sponsored by the US Embassy, with additional support from CIPE Pakistan. Continue reading ‘Promoting Youth Entrepreneurship in Pakistan’ »

Communicator-Entrepreneur Contest in Paraguay

The Paraguayan Foundation has launched a contest called “The Communicator-Entrepreneur” that will coincide with Global Entrepreneurship Week next week (see GEW Paraguay – Semana Global del Emprendedor). The goal of this contest is to increase awareness about the importance of entrepreneurship by encouraging participants to spread the word about entrepreneurship and the Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Education initiative through interviews, articles, and more. Suggested topics include: SMEs in rural and urban areas, how entrepreneurs have contributed to community development, and about the Paraguayan Foundation’s programs that promote entrepreneurship.

Comment here or share a message with the Community of Young Entrepreneurs:


Youth and Employment in Africa

Worldwide, the youth are defined as people between the ages of 10 and 25 years (Population Reference Bureau). In Africa, 200 million people are in this age range. Worldwide and in Africa as well, the ratio of the youth-to-adult unemployment rate equals three (ILO 2006), which clearly points out the substantial difficulties of youth participation in the labour market. Yet the youth employment elasticity to GDP growth is low and only a fifth of that observed for all workers (Kapos 2005). As a consequence, youth made up 43.7% of the total employed people in the world despite accounting for only 25% of the working population. More than one third of the youth in the world is seeking but unable to find work, has given up on the job search entirely, or is working but still living below the $2 a day poverty line and Africans are no exception.

Continue reading ‘Youth and Employment in Africa’ »