Archive for the ‘Africa’ Category.

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!

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.


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


What Can Be Done to Empower Youth Through Economic Inclusion?

At the Seventh Assembly of the World Movement for Democracy in Lima, Peru, Youngstars Foundation and Instituto Invertir organized a workshop on October 15 to ask, “What can be done to empower youth through economic inclusion?”

A well-rounded set of recommendations emerged from the workshop:

  • Promote entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship (nonprofit sector).
  • Include youth in planning processes on economic issues at all levels. Reach out to youth to listen and build trust. Help them to articulate their issues and give them platforms.
  • Provide access to information on how to start a business, how to find a job, and what opportunities and resources are available.
  • Provide technical assistance to entrepreneurs, especially through civil society. Give them tools such as leadership, teamwork, and conflict resolution, as well as technical, management, and vocational skills.
  • Connect entrepreneurs with each other and connect different sectors that support entrepreneurs (universities, financial entities, businesses, NGOs, etc.). Share best practices.
  • Improve education policy and address structural challenges so young people will have the right skills for the job market.
  • Do not stop with training, but track the progress of participants in youth programs.
  • Support youth initiatives at the local level.

Continue reading ‘What Can Be Done to Empower Youth Through Economic Inclusion?’ »

African Start-ups Create a Better Business Environment

World Development Report 2013 suggests that countries should focus on creating jobs with greater development payoffs. This makes me wonder whether we should also place more emphasis on those entrepreneurial ideas and businesses that could potentially improve the business environment in which other entrepreneurs operate, thereby generating a reproductive effect on the reduction of unemployment. Some tech start-ups in developing countries may just offer such a great example – displaying high levels of innovation such ventures mitigate the challenges of other entrepreneurs and SME owners face in doing business.

To showcase some of these innovative and promising start-ups in Africa, DEMO Africa is hosting its annual conference in Nairobi, Kenya, from the 24th to 26th of October 2012. Among the top 40 finalists who are going to demonstrate their products and services at the Conference, some have a great potential to improve the ease of doing business in Africa.

For example, Sasa Africa is an e-commerce platform that enables offline crafts persons in developing countries to connect to online consumers around the world using its proprietary mobile technology. The platform could generate cost-savings for both sides and also provide a great way for the craftsmen in the developing countries to reach the global marketplace. MPayer, a mobile and web application, helps businesses manage their transactions and view their operational information such as incomes, expenses and customer information. Mlouma, through web, mobile, and call center services, provides farmers reliable agricultural information in real time; and Dash2do, an online service network platform, connects small service providers to end users.

Continue reading ‘African Start-ups Create a Better Business Environment’ »

Filling the Voids: Why African Entrepreneurs Own Many Businesses

IMANI, a Ghana based think-tank, recently discovered that many successful entrepreneurs in Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya own on average six businesses each.  These “parallel entrepreneurs,” as The Economist dubs them, often create networks of businesses across different sectors in order to fill gaps that exist.  One respondent to IMANI’s survey owned 60 firms!

As The Economist sees it, there are several reasons for this hyperactivity.  In areas emerging from periods of civil war, such as Liberia, entrepreneurs see many opportunities for wealth during reconstruction and take advantage of the moment.  Others start new ventures when approached by friends or regular customers who have come to trust their quality and request new services. Continue reading ‘Filling the Voids: Why African Entrepreneurs Own Many Businesses’ »

Inside the Minds of Nigeria’s Entrepreneurs

Nigeria’s entrepreneurs are expressing a good deal of optimism, according to a recent survey by the Legatum Institute. Indeed, 82 percent of entrepreneurs believe Nigerian society has become more welcoming of entrepreneurship in the past 10 years. Download the Nigeria 2011 survey of entrepreneurs.

Some interesting facts from the survey:

  • Nigerian entrepreneurs are largely motivated by a desire to be independent (32 percent) or to make a difference (28 percent).
  • Contacts with other entrepreneurs form the single greatest source of individual desire to become an entrepreneur (30 percent).
  • In the survey, 74 percent of respondents became entrepreneurs out of choice, 23 percent out of necessity, and 3 percent are following family tradition.
  • Views of state governments’ performance are higher than views of national government performance. 73 percent reported that state government is doing a good job versus 63 percent reporting that national government is doing a good job.
  • Nationally, the most cited factor needed to achieve future growth is to clean up corruption (45 percent).

Continue reading ‘Inside the Minds of Nigeria’s Entrepreneurs’ »

Kaknock Foundation: Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Development

The Kaknock Foundation is moving a step ahead toward empowering small scale businesses for young people.  By providing youth with commercial and industrial information and skills, Kaknock helps young entrepreneurs present a point of view on the ways and means of increasing economic prosperity.  These insights are compiled and crafted into specific policy messages, which are then presented to international forums through policy platforms, publications, and the organization’s website.  The Kaknock Foundation ultimately aims at stimulating a more enabling framework of social and environmental young entrepreneurs through the following objectives:

  • Uplift the welfare of the poor through elimination of corruption, creation of jobs, raising small scale industries, and reaching out to the poor from a grassroots level.
  • Unite young entrepreneurs in business relationships.
  • Create income generating activities for young people.
  • Become a bridge between young people and the government in trade and networking.
  • Encourage young people to become entrepreneurs.

Continue reading ‘Kaknock Foundation: Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Development’ »

The Young Upstarts Report: Youth Perceptions in South Africa

The Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship released its first Young Upstarts Report on youth attitudes toward entrepreneurship, showing a high level of interest in starting a business combined with insights on the challenges facing entrepreneurs.

As far as attitudes go, the culture of creativity is widespread among South African youth. For many, creativity fuels their entrepreneurial dreams. Understanding and experience, however, are more limited. Most do not realize that entrepreneurship requires hard work and more than a good idea. Many would select the food and beverage sector for a new business–a highly competitive sector–presumably because it is familiar to them.

Continue reading ‘The Young Upstarts Report: Youth Perceptions in South Africa’ »

Youth Creative Movement in Sierra Leone

I have a project which aims at training youth in paint and soap making productive business. The name of the project is Youths Creative Movement of Sierra Leone, west Africa. Our project trains community-based youth in paint and soap making, who are expected to establish their own enterprise, be our selling agents, or get employment elsewhere after being well trained and qualified.

The youth creative movement is an indigenous independent and non-governmental organization, specially developed to alleviate the excess poverty in our community. By promoting the social and economic powers of our youths–who are the active body of our society and 60% of the country’s total population–by providing them training courses in trades that will create jobs and self–employment for self-reliance and self–sufficiency, e.g. paint making, soap making. The movement is born from the global advocacy on poverty alleviation and the need to promote the living standards of our community youths.

Continue reading ‘Youth Creative Movement in Sierra Leone’ »