Archive for August 2012



In honor of International Youth Day, CIPE and Atlas Corps co-hosted a series of TwitterChats revolving around issues youth are facing around the world.  In the first discussion Seif El Khawanky, a youth activist from Egypt, and several winners of CIPE’s youth essay contest offered insight into the role youth can play in democracy building.  The general consensus was that youth involvement needs to go beyond participating in elections.  While voting is an integral part of democracy, as Seif stated, “change needs a sustained youth presence.”

When asked what else youth can do Risaka Mirzalina stated that in addition to participating in civil society or developing community development projects, “entrepreneurship [is another] example of democracy building.” When youth become entrepreneurs, they have a stake in the way their countries are run and contribute to economic growth, which gives them a voice that elected officials will take seriously.  Young entrepreneurs are also key to consolidating democratic gains in transitioning societies.  After all, the root of the Arab Spring was economic in nature.  Youth who enter the free market are well positioned to decrease economic exclusion and contribute to the overall development of their country.

Entrepreneurship, important though it is, will not always immediately emerge.  In many countries the institutions that govern society must be changed as they do not account for the aspirations of the youth population.  Kirsten Han lamented the fact that in Singapore, the deference given to elders has prevented many youth from striking out on their own and following their ambitions.  Another participant added to this, saying that youth are often steered “into paths that don’t fit them.”  These and other obstacles are the results of the underlying institutions of society. Continue reading ‘#YouthChange’ »

CIPE Entrepreneurship Update

Russia – A recent graduate of CIPE’s Youth Entrepreneurship Program in the Republic of Ingushetia received a grant of $5,600 this month to open an agricultural enterprise using the skills she had gained under the training program. CIPE is implementing the program, funded by United States Agency for International Development, in cooperation with the Ingushetia Chamber of Commerce and Industry. It provides local youth with skills in launching and operating a business. Earlier this month a second graduate in Ingushetia received a commitment for a $7,800 loan from the regional government to open a café.

Ukraine – On August 8, the Coalition of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises of the Sumy Region, a CIPE partner, launched a training program for local young people to build their skills in operating a business in their communities. Through a National Endowment for Democracy grant, CIPE provides support to the Coalition to involve its SME members in the strategic development of the city of Sumy. Leaders of the Coalition include the Sumy Association of Employers, the Youth and Entrepreneurship Organization, and the Union of Entrepreneurs, Tenants, and Owners of Sumy.

Peru – CIPE partner Instituto Invertir has already received 1,144 applications for this year’s EmprendeAhora youth leadership and entrepreneurship program and the final day to apply is not until September 7, 2012. In order to increase the number of applications, Invertir is also promoting the program on other websites that support youth, such as Universia. Additionally, Invertir was invited to speak about EmprendeAhora on national television channel Promoviendo TV. The interview is available here

Continue reading ‘CIPE Entrepreneurship Update’ »

Join the CIPE Twitter Chat for International Youth Day


Starting on Monday, CIPE and Atlas Corps will host several twitter chats to mark International Youth Day.  Young thinkers, reformers, activists, and entrepreneurs from around the world will focus on the theme “Building a Better World: Partnering with Youth” and discuss how youth can participate in political and economic development.  To join the chat, simply follow @cipeglobal and @atlascorps or use the hashtag #YouthChange.  You can also follow the discussion as it happens here.

The Schedule of topics and participants is as follows:

Monday, August 13: Building Democratic Societies
11:30 AM-12:00 PM (EDT)

Seif El Khawanky, who was a youth activist during the 2011 Arab Spring uprising in Egypt, will host a discussion on how young people can participate in democratic reform, featuring winners of last year’s Youth Essay Competition. Watch a video of Seif discussing Egypt’s ongoing transition.

Tuesday, August 14: Inclusive Growth for the Next Generation
11:30 AM-12:00 PM (EDT)

CIPE’s Pakistan office will lead a discussion on the role of youth in ensuring that economic growth and development provide a voice and opportunity for all citizens, with a focus son youth entrepreneurship and the role of new technologies.

Wednesday, August 15: Youth Voices for Sustainable Development
11:30 AM-12:00 PM (EDT)

Esther Agbarakwe (@estherclimate, Nigeria), an Atlas Corps Fellow serving at Population Action International, will discuss her personal involvement and mobilization of youth in sustainable development on an international scale, including participation in The Elders+Youngers Initiative and the Rio+20 conference.

Thursday, August 16: Youth Advocates for Positive Change
11:30 AM-12:00 PM (EDT)

Orain Edwards (@oreojhay, Jamaica), an Atlas Corps Fellow serving at Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, shares his experience on lobbying international policymakers, including U.S. Secretary of State Clinton’s Office, Ambassador Eric Goosby at the Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator, and at the World Youth Conference, on issues of youth empowerment, social inclusion, and climate change.