Join CIPE for a Google Hangout on Women’s Entrepreneurship

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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:

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Pakistan Celebrates Global Entrepreneurship Week 2014

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Pakistan is charged up to celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) 2014. GEW has become a yearly phenomenon, with universities, GEW-Pakistan partners, chambers of commerce, and companies all sponsoring events during the week of November 17-23.

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Kicking Off Global Entrepreneurship Week at CIPE

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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!

CIPE Partner Helps Pakistan Government Measure Its Performance

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On October 28, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced that the performance of each of his ministries will be evaluated in what the government describes as the country’s first-ever such accountability exercise. Planning and Development Minister Ahsan Iqbal of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz party (PML-N) has said that four benchmarks will be used assess each minister: implementation of the PML-N campaign platform from the 2013 election; internal department and ministry reforms; public service delivery and public welfare; and whether the ministry has a strategic plan, or a “future agenda.”

This development is particularly notable because for the past year, CIPE and one of its key partners in Pakistan – the Policy Research Institute on Market Economy (PRIME), an Islamabad-based think tank – have spearheaded a program to track the government’s implementation of its economic policy platform. PRIME issues a quarterly performance scorecard, tracking key macro- and microeconomic indicators, as well as legislative and policy initiatives, to measure whether the government is following through on its 2013 pledge to overhaul the economy.

The idea of such monitoring follows, in turn, on CIPE’s earlier work to engage the business community in policy advocacy and encourage the parties to campaign on specific economic platforms – at the time a first for Pakistan. This program by PRIME and CIPE continues that innovation, and also set the tone for the government’s own accountability push.

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Building a Culture of Compliance in Emerging Markets

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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.

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Puerto Rico Looks to the South for Entrepreneurial Boost

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Despite its strong economic growth in recent years, Latin America continues to be a challenging region in which to be an entrepreneur. Difficulty in navigating complex bureaucratic regulations, a lack of infrastructure, and a large informal sector can be formidable obstacles to starting one’s own business. Furthermore, cultural factors, such as a risk-averse mentality, lack of familiarity with the concept of “entrepreneurship,” and perceptions of the government as the main source of jobs have also posed significant difficulties to entrepreneurship in the region.

In the face of these daunting challenges, entrepreneurship initiatives have sprung up across Latin America and the Caribbean in recent years in an effort to educate youth about the importance and benefits of free enterprise for democratic and economic development. Countries such as Chile, Brazil, Peru, and Ecuador have adopted programs to educate youth about entrepreneurship and prepare them for running a business, with positive results. Now, one such initiative has arrived in an unexpected place: Puerto Rico.

In many ways, Puerto Rico is a bridge between the United States and Latin America. While the island is a self-governing U.S. commonwealth and its inhabitants possess U.S. citizenship, its language, culture, and geography link Puerto Rico to Latin America and the Caribbean. Indeed, Puerto Rican entrepreneurs and small business owners often face many of the same obstacles that their counterparts throughout Latin America must confront.

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The Fall of the Wall: A Moment of Reflection

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This weekend the world celebrated 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall — the physical symbol of a divided continent. The Berlin Wall created artificial boundaries between societies, scarring Europe’s economic and political development for generations. The Iron Curtain defined where freedom ended and repression began. 

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