On Wednesday November 19, CIPE will celebrate Women’s Entrepreneurship Day with a Google Hangout discussion featuring four women entrepreneurs from Bangladesh, Kenya, Nicaragua, and Jordan. Join in to learn about our participant’s inspiring initiatives at promoting economic opportunities for women in their respective countries. The Hangout will take place at 9:00 AM EST (find out your local time here).
According to Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, an estimated 126 million women in 2013 were starting or running new businesses in 67 economies around the world. Over the next five years, it is projected that another seven million female entrepreneurs and five million established women business owners will grow their business by at least six employees. Despite these promising statistics, in only seven countries — Thailand, Ghana, Ecuador, Panama, Mexico, Nigeria, and Mexico — do women take part in business at rates equal to men. Women’s economic potential often remains untapped as a result of social, economic, and cultural marginalization.
Understanding that there is a direct correlation between policies in place to support women and the opportunities available to women’s success in business, CIPE aims to foster an entrepreneurial ecosystem for women by supporting educational, political, civic and economic reform. CIPE’s approach to women’s empowerment is guided by the principle that for sustainable change to take place, women must have a platform to develop their power base, advocate for reform, and exert leadership to change their countries’ political, cultural, and economic environment.
Participants in tomorrow’s Hangout will include:
Each year CIPE celebrates Global Entrepreneurship Week by highlighting the essential work its partners around the world are doing to improve the business environment for entrepreneurs and to support entrepreneurship, especially among traditionally excluded groups such as youth and women.
This week on the CIPE Development Blog we will be featuring success stories from CIPE-supported programs in Serbia, Nicaragua, Bangladesh, Venezuela, Peru, Pakistan, and more! Follow us on Facebook, on Twitter at @CIPEGlobal, or on the Twitter hashtag #GEW2014 for updates!
Corruption is a destructive tax on business that hampers entrepreneurship and economic development. In the last two decades significant progress has been made in making the fight against corruption a top priority for governments and businesses worldwide.
Yet many challenges remain, including spreading best practices in anti-corruption compliance beyond large companies to smaller firms in global value chains. The launch of CIPE’s new guide on anti-corruption compliance for mid-sized companies in emerging markets, held yesterday in Washington, DC, at the OpenGov Hub, focused on ways to boost third party compliance in difficult environments.
The World Bank was founded on the principle of non-interference in the political affairs of its member countries, with the focus exclusively on fighting poverty through economic development. For decades, that meant that corruption was a taboo subject in the global discourse on development, even as it crippled the economies and societies of countries around the world.
That changed on October 1, 1996 when then-President of the World Bank, James Wolfensohn delivered his famous speech at the Annual Meetings where he called corruption what it is: a cancer on development.
With bribery amounting to an estimated $1 trillion per year globally, corruption is now recognized to be one of the world’s greatest challenges. The costs of corruption affect the entire scope of international value chains – with the extra financial burden estimated to add at least 10 percent to the costs of doing business.
To comply with international anti-corruption norms and regulations, such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Anti-Bribery Convention, the U.K. Bribery Act, and the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the private sector must take greater responsibility in working to eliminate corruption. Companies that operate internationally must therefore pay attention not just to ethical conduct of their own employees, but also to how their suppliers, distributors, and agents behave in countries where they work.
In turn, local companies that aspire to join global value chains need to understand the importance of anti-corruption and how to move from commitments to action. To support the private sector in this challenge, CIPE created Anti-Corruption Compliance: A Guide for Mid-Sized Companies in Emerging Markets, geared specifically at helping local firms introduce practical, yet effective anti-corruption compliance programs. In the latest Economic Reform Feature Service article, CIPE Director of Multiregional Programs Anna Nadgrodkiewicz highlights the strategic investment for local firms in anti-corruption compliance as well as key elements of effective compliance programs.
Pro-democracy reformers and activists are among the most driven and courageous people in the world. Speaking out against abuses committed by authoritarian governments often brings the risk of punishment, and meaningfully engaging on policy issues even with democratic governments takes dedication, mobilization, and discipline.
Civil society is a key conduit between citizens and their governments through which such engagement should happen. Yet, in a troubling global trend, we are witnessing the shrinking of civic space, with a number of countries from Ethiopia to Russia having passed restrictive anti-NGO legislation.
Especially in such difficult environments, human rights defenders and democracy advocates more than anything need to know that they are not alone, that the ideals they fight for are universal, and that they are a part of an international community. That is exactly what the Warsaw Dialogue for Democracy helps to accomplish.
Now in its third edition, the Dialogue, which took place October 23-25 at the Natolin Campus of the College of Europe in Warsaw, is an international gathering devoted to democracy and civil society, bringing together representatives of civil society, human rights defenders and activists from Africa and the Middle East, Asia, the Americas and Eastern Europe. The Dialogue is a forum for the exchange of good practices and expertise in the evolution of democratic systems as well as a place to share success stories and challenges of democratic transitions.
Members of CIPE-supported business coalitions in Nigeria meet with political parties. (Photo: @sentellbarnes, IRI)
By Laura Boyette and Teodora Mihaylova
It is only natural that the world of international development would itself develop and change over the years to adapt to the changing landscape of needs and local capacity.
At a panel discussion at Georgetown University entitled “The Changing World of International Development,” three development practitioners from leading organizations provided some insight into how their work has changed over the years. The speakers emphasized how local ownership has become central to the planning and implementation of their projects.
Traditionally, the development field was focused on delivery of goods and services, especially in regions suffering humanitarian crises due to natural disasters or conflict. Over the years as the importance of local ownership of development projects became evident, the development landscape shifted to focus more on the provision of supplies and money to local actors to deploy as they saw fit. Both approaches have limitations: a mismatch between resources available and local needs, limited local capacity, delays that significantly diminish chances of success, and often corrupt actors at various points of delivery.
These days, international development actors are focusing more on building local capacity and less on the delivery of goods and services. Building local capacity in service delivery, project management, governance, advocacy, and democratic institutions does not just meet the immediate needs of the community. It also increases the sustainability of development interventions beyond the life of a particular project. Increasing local capacity both ensures the success of the project and creates a multiplier effect as local organizations take over responsibility.
CIPE’s model is locally oriented and and locally driven. Building local capacity has been central to the CIPE strategy for 30 years. Whether it’s through our national business agenda process or through legislative outreach programs that help educate local members of parliament or assembly on the economic and democratic policies and their potential impact, CIPE’s international work focuses on empowering local partners to become agents of change in their communities.