Business Associations for the 21st Century is a management guide to help business associations around the world build a stronger and better business enabling environment through effective programs and advocacy efforts. CIPE partners, in particular, operate in some of the most challenging and competitive environments globally. In order to overcome the myriad of challenges and obstacles that business owners face, the business community must work together to advocate policies and reforms that enable businesses to flourish.
The guide compiles CIPE’s knowledge accrued from working for more than 30 years at the forefront of democratic and market reform initiatives with local organizations. Designed to provide business association leadership with tried and true practices and practical tools to help their membership, the guide focuses on the key areas and core competencies needed for a successful organization. These include:
- Strategic planning
- Membership and key stakeholder groups
- Programs and services
- Advocacy and making an impact
- Coalitions and partnerships
- Communications and marketing
- Financial management
How can civil society organizations gather more data and information from its constituents for a better public private dialogue (PPD) process? Taking advantage of available free or low-cost mobile technologies is one answer.
Mobile technologies have transformed how people across the world communicate and access information. According to the GSMA, already 3.2 billion people around the world are online and out of them, 2.4 billion are accessing the internet via mobile. And this number is expected to keep rising as mobiles and data services become more available and affordable in different parts of emerging markets. It’s obvious that, then, PPD conveners should leverage mobile tools to engage more with their stakeholders.
The International Training Centre of the International Labor Organisation (ITCILO) developed an interactive toolkit on mobile engagement for business member organizations (BMOs) and other civil society organizations to use to better interact with constituents. The online toolkit reviews:
- Reasons for using mobile tools for engagement
- Methods and strategies to use depending on delivering content, gathering feedback or providing support for an issue
- Step-by-step demonstration on how to use 10 different mobile tools for engagement
Explore the toolkit and find new ways to improve your PPD process using mobile tools.
Maiko Nakagaki is a Program Officer for Global Programs at CIPE.
Selima Ahmad won the Oslo Business for Peace in 2014.
Founder of the Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry Selima Ahmad discusses how she built an organization that helps thousands of women entrepreneurs and what it takes to takes to be a successful businesswomen in Bangladesh.
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Participants at a Women’s Business Network meeting in Nepal in 2014.
Here at CIPE, we are celebrating International Women’s Day by highlighting the achievements of the South Asia Regional Women’s Network, an informal group of 31 inspiring and empowered women from Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh. Members of the network are business leaders and owners, board members, and senior managers who represent organizations with membership figures ranging from 100 direct members to nearly 4,000 members in Bangladesh.
They are women who have overcome great obstacles to build their careers, and their businesses, and are now giving back to other women seeking to do the same thing by building the capacity of their organization pushing for policy reform. Over the last four years, the network has come together nearly ten times to exchange information and best practices, to establish mentorship links between weaker and stronger organizations, and to build relationships between women in business, as well as between entire organizations, across the region.
Not long after the launch of this program, these organizations have grown in strength and numbers and have seen solid advocacy successes that have started to reshape economic policy, easing the burden of doing business for women and improving access to credit helping women to scale their businesses and bring more women into the workforce.
International Women’s Day is an important opportunity to shine a light on the success stories of women around the world—and their perseverance to achieve equality despite legal, political, economic, and social discrimination. Entrenched gender discrimination continues to prevent women from contributing equally to their country’s overall economic growth and from owning their own capital, which in turns limits their political representation and social status.
Despite these obstacles, numerous grassroots women’s associations have worked tirelessly to train new female business leaders and empower them to become stakeholders in the economy, further enabling them to successfully demand more political and social recognition and inclusivity.
Three influential women leaders and business experts recently discussed the growing economic empowerment and entrepreneurship of women in the developing world in videos for CIPE’s Development Institute. In these interviews, the discussants explain the vital contribution of women’s associations to not only the financial wellbeing and independence of women in society, but also to the overall economic development of a country.
Women entrepreneurs celebrating Global Entrepreneurship Week in Pakistan.
How far has Pakistan come? And how much further is there to go? This month, we mark the 10th anniversary of CIPE’s office in Pakistan by asking these questions.
At the time that CIPE opened its Karachi office, then-President Pervez Musharraf had installed a technocratic government and had liberalized the media, setting the scene for change in Pakistan. CIPE recognized the opportunity for deep change, and made a commitment to supporting that reform process through a major new program working with the business community, civil society and media. CIPE sought to open space for the private sector and civil society to have a greater say in policymaking, and to hold the government accountable for its promises.
By Hanna Rhodin
How do you go about starting a business when you lack the education or financial means? The answers often depend on the region, country, or city you live in. In early 2015 I traveled to Beira, Mozambique to volunteer with Care for Life, an NGO working with a holistic approach to assisting families in low-income communities. Part of this approach was to enable individuals to take charge of their own livelihood by establishing a small family business. This included their work with starting associations and mutual businesses — the latter being a 10-step process which many do not know how to undertake.
Registering a business should not take more than a few weeks (or, in more developed countries, a few days), yet during the two months I was working with these associations the process proved to take longer than that. For various reasons, several did not complete it and were still working on it as I completed my time there.