Archive for the ‘Business’ 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!

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.

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How Chambers Should Help in SME Development

Hammad Siddiqui, Deputy Country Director at CIPE’s Pakistan office, writes:

“[The] majority of membership at chambers and associations comes from the SME sector. But the ability of these business associations in understanding the needs of this sector and the capacity to help SMEs grow varies from organization to organization and country to country.”

Read this list of five action points for business associations to consider while creating a plan for SME development.

Originally posted on Business Organization Support Forum 

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

Online Entrepreneurs

Online start-ups retain the glamour and risk of the original dot-com era. Famous names like Facebook and Alibaba have shown stunning growth. Yet, becoming competitive and profitable is no easy task, and for most entrepreneurs the technology alone is not enough to provide a competitive edge.

Forbes has the story of, the largest job-posting site in Pakistan. The site’s founder, Monis Rahman, was originally focused on another social networking site he had created ( The traffic the jobs site generated led him to direct his attention there. His current challenge is sorting out how to work with instead of against big networks like Facebook and LinkedIn.

Youth Business Sri Lanka Supports Youth Entrepreneurship in Jaffna

The city of Jaffna in Sri Lanka is bustling with renewed energy these days — new shops are opening up, shops now carry more stocks, people who vacated Jaffna are coming back, transportation is no longer as big a problem as before, people from the south visit Jaffna — all good signs of a brighter future for the area.

“There is an atmosphere of hope, for business to take off again,” says Pushparaja Janaki, a 26 year old mother from Point Pedro, who runs a hand bag/school bag manufacturing business with her husband. “During the last few months, our business has expanded and we were able to get more orders from our participation at the Jaffna International exhibition held recently,” she adds.

Pushparaja Janaki is one of the beneficiaries who received financial assistance to start and expand her small business through the Youth Business Sri Lanka (YBSL) programme implemented by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Yalpanam. This entrepreneur support scheme has helped young entrepreneurs who are either running self employment businesses, or have had an idea of starting a business but did not have capital to do so. Isolated for a long period due to the conflict, these youth do not have any collateral to raise funding, any securable assets, or even guarantors.

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Innovation in Emerging Markets

Entrepreneurs in emerging markets are reinventing products and business models to compete in challenging, growing markets. As told in the Economist’s special report, “Innovation in Emerging Markets: The World Turned Upside Down,” Indian cardiologist Dr. Devi Shetty has combined volume and specialization to provide low-cost, quality surgeries to 600 patients a week. Nokia has redesigned mobile telephones for customers lower down the income pyramid, adding multiple phone books to accommodate multiple users, plus flashlights that come in handy during power failures.

Emerging markets present daunting challenges, as they are unpredictable and typically have low profit margins. At the same time, they present opportunity to those who can keep up, thanks to rapid growth in some markets as well as untapped potential and underserved customers. Innovation plays an increasingly important role. Companies are doing far more than offering cheap, inferior products.

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Growing SMEs: It’s Time to Invest!

“Growing SMEs: It’s time to invest!” which takes place in The Hague June 2, 2010 is an Investment Market Place offering a unique opportunity to 75 entrepreneurs from developing countries to meet and pitch their business plans to 100+ investors interested in financing companies in emerging markets.

The objectives of “Growing SMEs: It’s time to in­vest!” Market Place are to match entrepreneurs and financers, mobilize capital, and showcase an emerging asset class for investors. The ultimate result sought is to improve incomes and economic stability in the developing world.


See the programme of events here

Event details and registration information

Continue reading ‘Growing SMEs: It’s Time to Invest!’ »