Archive for April 2012

CIPE Announces Winners of Fourth Annual Youth Essay Contest

Last week CIPE announced the winners of the Fourth Annual International Youth Essay Competition.  An international panel of judges including partners from business associations, think tanks, and other international development organizations selected nine winning essays from a collection of over 400 submissions. 

Topics addressed under this year’s competition included corruption, democratic transitions, and economically-sustainable development.  CIPE received essays from over 65 countries including Afghanistan, Cambodia, Cameroon, Egypt, Indonesia, Moldova, and Uganda.

The first place essay in the Economically-Sustainable Development category came from one of CIPE’s partner organizations in Nepal, Samriddhi.  Written by Sarita Sapkota, the 1st place essay analyzes the history of development aid in Nepal.  Arguing that development projects funded by outside donors has created “huge machinery that needs a lot of resources to sustain but in effect contributes [a] negligible amount in terms of impact.” Sapkota suggests that Nepal should instead look to the enthusiasm and energy of young Nepalis to create innovative and sustainable models for long term development.

For a complete list of the nine winners and short summary of each article, visit the CIPE Development BlogContinue reading ‘CIPE Announces Winners of Fourth Annual Youth Essay Contest’ »

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’ »

Promoting Youth Entrepreneurship in Pakistan

Originally posted on the CIPE Development Blog

Participants at the Young Entrepeneurs’ Forum event. (Photo: CIPE Staff)

“The Young Entrepreneurs’ Forum is committed to addressing the prevalence of barriers that prevent aspiring entrepreneurship from taking the first step towards an entrepreneurial career” – Shaban Khalid, Chairman, YEF.

Promoting entrepreneurship is an important priority for Pakistan’s economic development. According to Global Entrepreneurship Monitor’s 2010 report, Pakistan lags in startups, with less than half the rate of early-stage entrepreneurial activity found in other factor-driven economies. Part of the problem is that most young people coming out of universities prefer searching for a job instead of exploring entrepreneurial career opportunities – one of the key findings of CIPE-P@SHA dialogue with students and start-ups. Even young people who choose to enter paid employment often have trouble finding a job, are badly paid, or wind up in casual or informal jobs, according to the World Bank.

To help encourage a more entrepreneurial spirit among young people, the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry recently organized a major conference for young entrepreneurs focusing on the theme of “Inspiring a New Wave of Entrepreneurship,” part of the Young Entrepreneurs’ Forum. Established in 2008, the goal of the Forum is to encourage young entrepreneurs to take on a role in policy advocacy and nurturing the next generation chamber leadership. The conference was sponsored by the US Embassy, with additional support from CIPE Pakistan. Continue reading ‘Promoting Youth Entrepreneurship in Pakistan’ »

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’ »

Principles to Jump Start an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

“Ecosystem” has become the accepted term for describing the full range of conditions needed to support and encourage entrepreneurship. Most people now realize that neither education, financing, nor any other single factor can promote entrepreneurship without consideration for the system in which entrepreneurs function. But now that everyone is using the term “ecosystem,” what exactly does it mean?

Professor Daniel J. Isenberg at Babson College has nicely summarized the elements of an entrepreneurship ecosystem and the ways they play into a strategy to promote entrepreneurship. See his article “The Big Idea: How to Start an Entrepreneurial Revolution” in the Harvard Business Review (June 2010).

Because an ecosystem has many interrelated elements, Isenberg recommends an integrated approach to nurturing entrepreneurship instead of a one-dimensional solution. He tells policymakers to stop focusing on the Silicon Valley model—a product of special circumstances—and to look farther afield at countries such as Chile, Israel, and Rwanda. The countries that have successfully made the leap to entrepreneurial economies have taken advantage of their own local features. Isenberg wisely cautions against artificial attempts to design entrepreneurial clusters.

Continue reading ‘Principles to Jump Start an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem’ »

CIPE Entrepreneurship Update

Pakistan – This week CIPE and the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry conducted a youth conference on “Inspiring the New Wave of Entrepreneurship.” Over 350 youth participated in the conference where they discussed issues including women’s entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, and building bridges through business-Diaspora linkages. Secretary of State Clinton attended the conference and her remarks can be seen at

Peru – At the conclusion of EmprendeAhora 2012, Instituto Invertir selected the winner of its democracy video contest. The contest gave participants in the EmprendeAhora program a way to demonstrate what they have learned about democracy and explain in their own way the implications of democracy on society. The winners of the contest hailed from Huancayo, in Junin region. Their winning video can be viewed (in Spanish) at

Continue reading ‘CIPE Entrepreneurship Update’ »