Archive for June 2011

Making the Most of Public-Private Dialogue: A CIPE Toolkit

The barriers that hamper entrepreneurship are indicative of deep governance failures.” Entrepreneurs can either find ways to work around the barriers (a few succeed that way) or they can try to be part of the solution–removing barriers in order to unleash business potential. If entrepreneurs wish to be part of the solution, they must join in public-private dialogue.

Public-private dialogue strengthens policymaking by incorporating valuable private input and creating momentum for reform. For dialogue to be most productive, the private sector must take initiative to advocate for its priorities in a participatory policy process. “Making the Most of Public-Private Dialogue: An Advocacy Approach,” CIPE’s new Reform Toolkit, aids business leaders who seek to improve their participation in dialogue for better policy results.

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CIPE Entrepreneurship Update

Iraq – In early June, the Kurdish Regional Government passed components of a Small and Medium Enterprises Law, which was developed with CIPE support. CIPE partner the Kurdistan Economic Development Organization’s (KEDO) advocacy efforts attracted the attention of Kurdish Prime Minister Barham Salih, who endorsed the law for formal passage. Enacted components will increase the amount of capital available for young entrepreneurs by 25 billion IQD, making it easier for young Iraqi Kurds to receive a loan to start a business.

Russia – The Ministry of Economic Development of the Republic of Karachay-Cherkessiya has signed a formal commitment to support the top graduates from a youth entrepreneurship training program being run by CIPE and its partners. The ministry will provide $123,000 in startup funding for the best business ideas conceived by students in the three-year program that trains local youth in how to launch and run a business. CIPE’s partner, the Karachay-Cherkessiya Chamber of Trade and Industry, is administering the program, one of seven in the restive North Caucasus region of Russia that are part of the USAID-funded Promoting Entrepreneurship in the North Caucasus project.

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Advice from the WDI Summit on Entrepreneurship Education

The William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan brought together faculty, nonprofits, and officials for a two-day summit on entrepreneurship education in emerging markets, June 16-17. The summit was highly useful for learning educational methods and exchanging ideas.

In one of my favorite sessions, Professor Heidi Neck (Babson College) challenged us to move beyond teaching the process of venture creation to nurture entrepreneurial thinking instead. Entrepreneurial thinking means finding ways to create value and convert opportunities into reality. This kind of thinking can be applied to any part of business or life. Students should be given the chance early on to experience what it’s like running a business and to experiment. They need practice, acting as teams, in finding what works, dealing with failure, and revising business models.

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Social Networks and Business Activity: Emerging vs. Developed Economies

Everyone knows that entrepreneurs like to network, but where do social networks foster greater levels of entrepreneurship? A study in the latest issue of the International Business Review compares the relationship of social networks to levels of entrepreneurial activity in both developed and emerging economies. The authors–Wade M. Danis, Dirk De Clercq, and Olga Petricevic—try to get at the question of whether “informal networking behavior may compensate for weak institutions.”

Using participation in voluntary associations as a proxy for networking behavior, and testing data from the World Values Survey and Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, the study finds that “associational activity is more strongly related to new business activity in emerging than developed economies.” The implication is that while networking has value everywhere, it is more important where institutions are weak. As Douglass C. North has noted, institutional development is essentially a matter of moving from personal exchange to impersonal exchange.

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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.

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