Bahrain – Under the auspices of the U.S. Department of State MEPI, CIPE started a new program to foster cooperation among Bahrain’s diverse private sector and youth populations. The program will focus on two initiatives designed to foster a cooperative environment among the diverse populations that make up Bahrain’s private sector and youth. With the support of MEPI, CIPE will help develop a representative business vision for the country to foster reform and implement a civic education and entrepreneurship training course to engage a diverse group of Bahrain youth in economic participation.
Washington, DC – In conjunction with the International Day of Democracy on September 15, the Free Enterprise and Democracy Network (FEDN), comprising of CIPE partners from around the world, formally announced its objectives and principles. Created to remedy a lack of private sector representation in global debates on democratic reform, FEDN seeks to engage champions of the private sector and civil society in dialogue and advocacy. In addition to ensuring a voice for the private sector in global fora, FEDN will provide a platform for the exchange of ideas and mutual support among members.
Afghanistan – CIPE conducted six business proposal writing competitions as part of the Tashabos youth entrepreneurship program in three girls’ high schools – Naswan Chahar Asyab, Lamia Shahid, and Bibi Sarah – and three boys’ high schools –Zokor Markaz Chat Asyab, Saydal Nasri and Ustad Bitab – all located in Kabul. Approximately 80 students had drafted proposals, and 60 were selected to present their proposals to a panel of judges who selected 10 winning business proposals. These 10 students will attend a final, national competition among over 40 students at the end of the year.
Russia – On September 12, the Novorossiysk municipal administration accepted a new approach to the way economic development money is allotted to local businesses. The Novorossiysk Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI), a CIPE partner, had suggested the change after conducting a review of the corruption potential of the city’s existing procedures for allocating small and medium-sized enterprise development funds. The Novorossiysk CCI’s approach provides for a transparent selection process that requires officials to explain why applicants for economic development funds have been approved or rejected. The Novorossiysk CCI developed the revised procedures under a National Endowment for Democracy-funded project aimed at helping Russian chambers of commerce identify corruption-prone laws and advocate for change.
Peru – On September 15, Instituto Invertir, with support from its national alumni network, administered the EmprendeAhora selection exam to nearly 1,200 university students from all regions of Peru. The exam measured students’ aptitude (logic, verbal, and math test) and attitude (entrepreneurial spirit test) and included a case study about society, democracy, and values. The top 300 students will be selected for in-person interviews, after which Invertir will award approximately 130 scholarships for its CIPE-supported EmprendeAhora youth leadership and entrepreneurship program.