Archive for the ‘Latin America’ 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.


The State of Entrepreneurship in Bolivia

Originally posted on the CIPE Development Blog by Sergio Daga.

Sergio Daga is a CIPE-Atlas Corps Think Tank LINKS  Fellow serving at the Heritage Foundation. 

The latest Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Report for Bolivia, published in 2010 and led by Marco Antonio Fernandez C. from the Catholic University of Bolivia, shows interesting findings that shed light on the state of entrepreneurship in Bolivia today. In a survey of individuals between 18 and 64 years old in the three biggest cities of the country, nearly 76 percent said they believe they have the skills required to be an entrepreneur, over 53 percent foresee opportunities to start a business, and only 28 percent are afraid of failure.

The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), an initiative founded and sponsored by Babson College (US), Universidad del Desarrollo (Chile), and Universiti Tun Abdul Razak (Malaysia), has completed 13 annual surveys of the entrepreneurial attitudes, activities, and aspirations of individuals around the world. Its latest edition covered 69 countries that represent 74 percent of the world’s population and 87 percent of the world’s GDP. One of  GEM’s unique characteristics is that they conduct specific in-depth country studies about entrepreneurs in mainly developing countries.

A striking indicator for Bolivia is the Total Early-Stage Entrepreneurship Activity (TEA) rate, which shows the rate of individuals in the working-age population who are actively involved in business start-ups, either in the phase preceding the birth of the firm (nascent entrepreneurs), or the phase spanning three and a half years after the birth of the firm (owners or managers of new firms). The TEA rate for Bolivia was almost 39 percent and this rate is the second highest among the 59 countries who participated in the TEA research in 2010.

According to the same report, the motivations for starting a business stem mostly from opportunity (measured as the desire to increase revenues), and not necessarily to gain independence (measured as the desire to become their own bosses). Additionally, aspirations for growth (which translates to creating jobs) among Bolivian entrepreneurs are significantly low. Only 65 percent of the early-stage entrepreneurs planned to create one job, and only 4 percent of them aspired to create more than 20 jobs in the next five years. When the already established entrepreneurs were asked about their growth outlook, it was even worse – not even half of a percent of the respondents said that they aspire to create more than 20 jobs in the next five years.

Lack of innovation and creativity is another problem.  Out of the early-state entrepreneurs, less than 1 percent answered they incorporated new technologies or innovative ideas into their ventures. Furthermore, a vast majority of the early-stage entrepreneurs indicated they are in the service sector, offered no new products, and faced high competition due to the homogeneity of their offerings.

Finally, the report also painted a picture of an average Bolivian entrepreneur:  a male between the age from 25 to 34 with only a primary education, and a monthly family income between $145 to $290 USD. They call themselves independent, but actually belong to the informal economy (paying no taxes and receiving no social benefits) and their main motivation is to generate more revenue, not profit.

Although “attitudes and perceptions to become an entrepreneur are quite favorable within Bolivians” (GEM Report Bolivia, 2010), the truth is that the vast majority of Bolivian entrepreneurs have low aspiration to increase production and to create jobs. Entrepreneurs are not innovating nor advancing the use of technology into their products and services. As a result they face higher competition and lower prices for their products.

In another study, conducted by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), already established firms in Bolivia (independently of their size) were asked what real obstacles they think undermine the potential of entrepreneurship in their country.  The top answers on the list were unfair competition formal entrepreneurs face because of the informal market, political instability in terms of predictability of public policies, and the unprepared and unskilled labor force.

As CIPE has pointed out building entrepreneurial economies requires many steps, including:

 “building market institutions; removing barriers to starting, operating, and growing a business; reforming educational systems; and creating a broader awareness and understanding of what entrepreneurship means as well as appreciation for its contribution to the development of democratic societies. As simple as the recipe for entrepreneurship-driven development may be, the implementation of necessary reforms is a much more complex matter. Only when the right institutional climate is in place can small business success stories become more commonplace. Entrepreneurial economies sustain growth through the rule of law and a functioning democracy. Institutional change takes time, effort, determination, and, above all, dedicated reformers.”

Will there ever be such reformers in Bolivia? My organization, Políticas Públicas para la Libertad, is working to make this happen.

CIPE Atlas Corps Think Tank LINKS Fellowship brings talented young professionals with strong research backgrounds to shadow researchers and experts at leading U.S. think tanks for six month. Sergio Daga is part of the inaugural class, serving at the Heritage Foundation as Visiting Senior Policy Analyst for the Index of Economic Freedom in Latin America.

Global Entrepreneurship Week in Latin America

Last week on the CIPE-supported Director of Economics at CIEN in Guatemala Hugo Maul provided an analysis of entrepreneurs’ responsibilities in their own development;two graduates of the CIPE-sponsored EmprendeAhora program in Peru –General Manager at Metrika ArquitectosMario Carrascaland President of Asociación Lidera Geraldine Vanessa Rubina – offer theirperspectives on the challenges for young entrepreneurs in Latin America; and Director of Entrepreneurship Education at Fundación Paraguaya in Paraguay Roberto Urbieta explains what Global Entrepreneurship week is about.

CIPE and also organized a Spanish Twitter chat on entrepreneurship in Latin America. Several CIPE partners from around the region, including Roberto Laserna from Fundación Milenio in Bolivia, Xavier Andrade from the Ecuadorian Institute for Political Economy (IEEP) in Ecuador, and staff from EmprendeAhora in Peru and the Center for the Dissemination of Economic Knowledge in Venezuela, helped lead the discussion among Twitter users.

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?’ »

Democracy, Entrepreneurship, and the Inclusion of Youth

[If you're in Washington, hope you can make it. We'll capture the event for our online audience...]

Please join the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) for a luncheon discussion featuring:

Daniel Cordova, Instituto Invertir
Arpita Nepal, Samriddhi, the Prosperity Foundation
Miriam Kornblith, National Endowment for Democracy

with comments by:

Ambassador Harold Forsyth (invited), Embassy of Peru in the United States
John D. Sullivan, Center for International Private Enterprise

RSVP here

Across the world, countries are grappling with challenges of social and economic inclusion Continue reading ‘Democracy, Entrepreneurship, and the Inclusion of Youth’ »

Iquitos Part 2: Chocolate, Toys, and Entrepreneurial Dreams

This article is part of a series of interviews with participants of Instituto Invertir’s EmprendeAhora entrepreneurship and leadership training program in Peru. Read the introduction to the series and Part 1.

In order to promote the EmprendeAhora program and encourage new applicants from throughout Peru, each year CIPE partner Instituto Invertir conducts an extensive promotional campaign in every major regional university. Local teams made up of EmprendeAhora alumni are in charge of distributing materials in their universities and in other youth spaces in their cities (Internet cafes, church, library, etc.). The alumni also give informative talks at universities and speak to the local media. It was through this promotional campaign in the summer of 2010 that Gerson Casas learned about the benefits of EmprendeAhora from Coco D’Azevedo, the 2008 alum profiled in a previous post.

Like Coco, Gerson is from Iquitos, Peru and was drawn to the program for the opportunity to travel to Lima, meet new people, and learn more about being an entrepreneur. After completing the rigorous application process, Gerson was selected to attend EmprendeAhora 2010.

Continue reading ‘Iquitos Part 2: Chocolate, Toys, and Entrepreneurial Dreams’ »

Sport and Entrepreneurship in the Amazonian City of Iquitos

The first ever Amazonica 10 kilometer marathon was organized by Grupo A&E, a business founded and operated by Jorge “Coco” D’Azevedo, alum of the first EmprendeAhora (formerly LiderAcción) program in 2008. With this first marathon, Grupo A&E added to an already large list of services that it offers, including: training in business management, leadership, motivation, and entrepreneurship; organizing academic, cultural, and entertainment events; and conducting surveys and market research.

Read this first-hand account by Brent Ruth on CIPE Development Blog.

Continue reading ‘Sport and Entrepreneurship in the Amazonian City of Iquitos’ »

GEW Paraguay 2011

Here’s a nice video of the latest Global Entrepreneurship Week in Paraguay, shared by Roberto Urbieta of Fundacion Paraguaya. Well done.

Thanks for sharing, Roberto.

Continue reading ‘GEW Paraguay 2011’ »

Global Entrepreneurship Week at Escuela Agrícola San Francisco de Asis, Paraguay

My name is Fernanda Pereira and I would like to share my Global Entrepreneurship Week with you. I am one of the two Paraguayans who are participating as semifinalists in Your Big Year, a program by Smaller Earth.

Your Big Year is an international contest in which 60,000 people participated this year from 221 countries. It consists of passing certain challenges, tasks, in order to be one of 111 semifinalists. Of the 111, only 12 have the opportunity to be finalists and attend the Global Entrepreneurship Congress to be held in Liverpool in March 2012. Continue reading ‘Global Entrepreneurship Week at Escuela Agrícola San Francisco de Asis, Paraguay’ »