Archive for April 2011

Anzisha Prize for Young African Entrepreneurs

The African Leadership Academy (ALA) and Mastercard Foundation are seeking entries for the Anzisha Prize. The Anzisha Prize recognizes innovative, entrepreneurial solutions (for-profit and non-profit) to community challenges. $70,000 USD in prizes will be awarded, and eight finalists will win a trip to an entrepreneurship workshop at ALA in South Africa. The deadline to apply is 31 May 2011. Entrants must be between the ages of 15 and 20. The first prize will be awarded in August. See contest details and apply here.

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United Nations High-Level Meeting on Youth

The United Nations Programme on Youth would like to update you on developments in the preparations for the High-level Meeting on Youth, which will take place on 25 and 26 July 2011 at UN Headquarters in New York.

New Curriculum for High School Students in Lebanon

On April 15, the Development for People and Nature Association (DPNA) and CIPE released a new entrepreneurship and civic education curriculum for high school students. The goal of the Entrance to Enterprise (E2E) course is to empower Lebanese youth to realize their economic potential and proactively engage in their communities. E2E emphasizes the values and traits of entrepreneurs, leadership skills, the basics of free market economics, the legal steps necessary to start a business in Lebanon, and the components of a winning business plan. The E2E launch attracted representatives from the private, public, civil society, and academic sectors, including the Minister of Education and Higher Education and Chamber of Commerce Business Innovation Center (BIC) directors.

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Entrepreneurs in Cuba

We have all seen news reports of economic reforms in Cuba–like legalizing cell phones. You may have been wondering how significant the reforms will really be. Now that some months have passed, there are a few indications of what reforms might mean for Cuban entrepreneurs. A story by Paul Haven, Associated Press follows the experiences of some entrepreneurs, like restaurant owners: “New Entrepreneurs in Cuba Get Mixed Results.” According to this report, more than 171,000 business licenses have been issued.

The situation is perhaps a common one in partially (or slightly) liberalized economies. Given a little freedom, it is remarkable what some individual entrepreneurs can do to make a living, give customers new choices, and conceivably spark a new entrepreneurial spirit in the culture. Nevertheless, no matter how daring the business owner, they usually run up against challenges in the business environment. In Cuba, it appears obtaining a license is not arduous and that inspectors have not made themselves intrusive lately. Taxes and regulations have been a problem, though, and the government remains the dominant employer.

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CIPE Entrepreneurship Update

Nepal — Samriddhi completed the 12th group of its Arthalaya youth entrepreneurship program, for 24 students. In addition, the entrepreneurs’ clubs formed by Arthalaya graduates held a number of recent events, including a screening and discussion of a documentary at Noble College for 100 students. The film screened, “The Call of an Entrepreneur,” produced by Acton Media, tells the story of three entrepreneurs – two American and one Chinese – and invited a discussion on the contributions that entrepreneurs make to society. The club at Uniglobe College held a training session on blogging for 16 students on March 18 and March 20, and a screening and discussion of a documentary on March 20. Several clubs partnered with Onion Films, a film company established by two Arthalaya graduates, to run a four-day filmmaking workshop on March 8-11. Three established Nepali directors instructed the 12 students, who will now split into two groups to make short films, one related to entrepreneurship and economic policy, and the other on democracy. Finally, the club at Purbanchal University ran a one-day “Civic Concern Workshop,” at which 24 students examined their civic and social responsibilities.

Peru – As part of CIPE partner Invertir’s Entrepreneurship week, held in Lima from March 14-19, Invertir organized its Venture Forum. This Forum is part of the EmprendeAhora program, and allows young entrepreneurs from throughout Peru to set up booths to promote their businesses and network with other entrepreneurs. Over 160 people attended the Venture Forum.

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Lessons from Chinese Entrepreneurs

Two famous Chinese entrepreneurs—Guo Guangchang and Li Kaifu—generously shared some lessons for young entrepreneurs during the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Shanghai on March 28.

Guo Guangchang, CEO of the FoSun Group, challenged entrepreneurs to think independently and investigate whether the market really needs what they are doing. Spending time talking to clients is a good way to find out.

Guo downplayed some of the excitement of innovation. He advised a practical, step-by-step approach. As for failure, he said, “If you’re not prepared for failure, you’re not ready for enterprising.” That said, he believes even if an entrepreneur fails commercially, that person will be richer in life for the experience.

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Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Shanghai

Participants from 92 countries gathered in Shanghai from March 28 to 31 for the third Global Entrepreneurship Congress, organized by the Kauffman Foundation. The congress celebrated Chinese entrepreneurs, explored what works in supporting entrepreneurs, and initiated planning to make Global Entrepreneurship Week 2011 a more powerful phenomenon than ever.

Shanghai has made its mark as an entrepreneurial hub. Mayor Han Zheng kicked off the congress by stating that entrepreneurship creates jobs, and called for government policy support for entrepreneurship. Carl Schramm, President and CEO of the Kauffman Foundation, then introduced the goal of improving “entrepreneurial ecosystems,” a theme echoed by China’s Minister of Science and Technology, Wan Gang.

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