Author Archives: Kim Bettcher

News from the Free Enterprise and Democracy Network


Free Enterprise and Democracy Network (FEDN) members have been providing technical assistance in democratic transitions and sharing their experiences in economic reform. Here are some highlights of their activities.

In December, former Finance Minister of the Philippines and Chairman of the Institute for Solidarity in Asia Dr. Jesus Estanislao held roundtable discussions with five political parties as part of a joint project with the International Republican Institute to enhance political parties’ capacity to develop economic platforms. Dr. Estanislao shared his experience with the Philippines’ democratic and economic transition, as well as the country’s approach to decentralization.


Public Private Dialogue on Policy for Entrepreneurial Ecosystems


Here at the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Moscow, everyone is sold on the importance of creating entrepreneurial ecosystems. There is no shortage of ideas for doing this, and the quest has risen to the level of public policy. As Jonathan Ortmans has noted, governments are now interacting with grassroots networks that are driving bottom-up ecosystem building.

Entrepreneurship advocates should pay close attention to the sphere of public-private dialogue (PPD) as a powerful means for cracking the ecosystem code in each community. Public-private dialogue is a space for discovering policy solutions that are targeted, mutually agreed, and sustainable.

Long established as a tool for regulatory reform and market development around the world, PPD has the potential to uncover policy solutions for entrepreneurship, whether it’s policy for financing, taxes, innovation, education, or any other aspect of the enabling environment.


Highlights of 2013 CIPE Publications & Tools


As 2013 flew by, even diligent readers of CIPE Development Blog might have missed valuable nuggets on our favorite topics. The Knowledge Management team at CIPE has done a little prospecting for you and offers the following summary of the year’s top new resources.


Policymakers and Grassroots Networks for Smarter Ecosystems

Global Entrepreneurship Week

The Global Entrepreneurship Week movement has been at the epicenter of an explosion of interest in entrepreneurship around the globe. In recent years, we have witnessed a progression from raising awareness to exploring ways to support entrepreneurs, and finally to thinking about entrepreneurship ecosystems.

Jonathan Ortmans, President of Global Entrepreneurship Week, is one of the leading thinkers who has turned to considering the crucial policy supports for entrepreneurship. He observes a new trend toward — and a need for — pushing policy reforms from the top down and responding to initiatives from the grass roots upward.

In his new CIPE Feature Service piece, “Policymakers and Grassroots Networks Find They Need Each Other for Smarter Ecosystems,” Ortmans shares a bit about policy conversations at the Global Entrepreneurship Congress and the interaction that is occurring between entrepreneurship leaders, grassroots networks, and governments. This is a trend to watch and encourage and I look forward with CIPE to engaging in this dialogue with all sectors.

This article is excerpted from the upcoming CIPE report on “Creating the Environment for Entrepreneurial Success” to be published in Fall 2013. CIPE is an official partner of Global Entrepreneurship Week.

Kim Bettcher is Senior Knowledge Manager at CIPE.

Highlights from the Webinar “The Principles of Free Enterprise and Democracy”


Trying to explain the connection between democracy and market-driven growth can be like trying to solve the puzzle of the chicken and the egg: which came first? Our panelists in the free enterprise and democracy webinar on September 12 did a commendable job of sorting through the linkages and debunking several myths.

One of the starting premises for discussion was that economic growth flourishes when private property rights are protected in a market-oriented system under rule of law. While autocrats can provide a level of protection for property and a legal order, without democratization there cannot be universal protection of property rights, as Boris Begovic, Senior Fellow at the Center for Liberal Democratic Studies, pointed out. In the long run, democracy brings greater certainty to the rule of law. Businesses require certainty for long-term investment, and this is lessened when the whim of an autocratic ruler prevails.

Aurelio Concheso, Director of Aspen Consulting, further stated that autocratic decisionmaking discourages innovation. As an economy becomes increasingly complex, feedback becomes essential to the decision process and feedback is facilitated by democratic governance. By contrast, oligarchic societies raise huge barriers to entry and innovation in order to protect incumbent political and business elites.

Selima Ahmad, Founder and President of the Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and John D. Sullivan, Executive Director at CIPE, spoke about how the private sector can act to level the playing field, for example by advocating universal property rights as guaranteed in the UN Declaration on Human Rights. Businesses ranging from small and medium enterprises to those engaged in international commerce have an interest in regulatory reform, which they can pursue collectively through voluntary associations and policy agendas.


The Principles of Free Enterprise and Democracy: A Webinar with Champions of Reform


Democracy and free enterprise – how can we get the best of both? The Free Enterprise and Democracy Network, established in 2012, has issued four principles describing relationship between economic freedom and democratic development.

Now for the first time online, leaders of the Free Enterprise and Democracy Network will explain the principles and share their own experiences in democratic and market reform. These five thought leaders bring diverse private-sector perspectives from around the world to the fundamental questions of democracy and free enterprise.


Selima Ahmad, Founder President, Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry; recipient of the 2013 Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Award

Boris Begovic, Senior Fellow, Center for Liberal Democratic Studies; Professor, School of Law, University of Belgrade – Serbia

Aurelio Concheso, Director, Aspen Consulting CA; President, FEDECAMARAS Labor and Legislative Committee; Former President, Center for Dissemination of Economic Knowledge – Venezuela

Jesus Estanislao, Chairman, Institute for Corporate Directors; Chairman, Institute for Solidarity in Asia; recipient of the Hernando de Soto Award for Democracy – Philippines

Jaroslav Romanchuk, President, Scientific Research Mises Center, Belarus

moderated by

John Sullivan, Executive Director, Center for International Private Enterprise
Kim Bettcher, Senior Knowledge Manager, Center for International Private Enterprise

Thursday, September 12, 2013
8:00 a.m. EDT (Washington, DC time)


The Principles of Free Enterprise and Democracy:

  1. Economic freedom is an essential source of political freedom as well as a component of individual liberty.
  2. Market institutions and the rule of law build foundations for democratic governance.
  3. Democracy brings long-run benefits to sustainable growth and human development.
  4. The private sector plays an essential role in the development of a democratic society.

10 Lessons from CIPE’s Webinar on Public-Private Dialogue

A public-private dialogue session with Senegalese President Macky Sall.

A public-private dialogue session with President Macky Sall in Senegal. CIPE partners organize such sessions in countries around the world.

In a webinar on July 11, Elias M. Dewah, former Executive Director of the Botswana Confederation of Commerce, Industry, and Manpower (BOCCIM), and other panelists shared prominent lessons from their experience with public-private dialogue initiatives in Africa and Eastern Europe and the Caucasus. Here are some of the highlights, addressed to private sector participants in advocacy.

  1. Be consistent and persistent in advocacy and dialogue to overcome government inertia.
  2. Remain independent from government but work with officials in an advocacy capacity.
  3. Be proactive and constructive. Don’t just criticize but offer alternative policy solutions.
  4. Come to the table with well-researched evidence. Link up with independent think tanks as needed.
  5. Be representative and inclusive of various sectors, not just a few elite businesses.
  6. Speak with one voice at all times.
  7. Move from issues involving transactions to systemic change.
  8. Make use of existing legal frameworks that provide for transparency and consultation.
  9. Find the most effective point of engagement in the legislative process – this could be in the drafting stage.
  10. Evaluate the impact. Look beyond dialogue processes at what is actually achieved.