Tag Archives: business associations

Democracy that Delivers Podcast #15: Business Development Expert Toki Mabogunje on How Small and Medium-Sized Businesses Are Faring in Nigeria Today

Podcast hosts Ken Jaques and Julie Johnson with guest Toki Mabogunje (right)

Podcast hosts Ken Jaques and Julie Johnson with guest Toki Mabogunje (right)

Business development consultant Toki Mabogunje (Twitter: @tmc_nig) talks about the current business climate in Nigeria, how the new government is tackling economic, security, and corruption challenges – and the private sector response – and how Nigerian entrepreneurs find ways to thrive in even the most difficult circumstances. Mabogunje also talks about how her American school education still shapes the way she approaches issues today. Visit her website.

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Helping Earthquake-Affected Farmers Get Back on their Feet in Nepal

Women are crucial to Nepal's agricultural sector. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Women are crucial to Nepal’s agricultural sector. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Just over a year after a 7.8-magnitude earthquake left thousands dead, destroyed centuries-old UNESCO World Heritage sites, and wiped out entire villages, Nepal is struggling to cope with the economic impacts of the earthquake. According to the Nepal government, the overall damage is estimated to be about $10 billion – more than half of the country’s $19.2 billion GDP.  The disaster is also expected to push an additional 700,000 Nepalese below the national poverty line, which is currently $200 a year, before mid-2016.

Nepal's economy was severely affected by last year's devastating earthquake.

Nepal’s economy was severely affected by last year’s devastating earthquake. (Source: Central Bureau of Statistics)

Particularly worrisome is the devastating impact on agriculture. Two thirds of Nepal’s population is employed in the agriculture and forestry sector, according to the International Labor Organization, accounting for 34 percent of the country’s economic output. The government’s estimates show the agricultural sector’s losses at about NPR 28.3 billion, or $284 million at current exchange rates. Without the restoration of the agricultural sector, Nepal won’t fully recover from the earthquake.

The Federation of Women Entrepreneurs Association of Nepal (FWEAN) has been working with the Ministry of Agriculture and Department, with CIPE’s support, to raise awareness among women agro-entrepreneurs about the various funding opportunities offered by the Ministry. Through training seminars on grant applications and procedures for agricultural credit subsidies at each of FWEAN’s 25 district chapters, FWEAN is encouraging women entrepreneurs to use the resources made available by the government.

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CIPE Releases Business Associations for the 21st Century

business-associations-21stBusiness 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
  • Governance
  • Membership and key stakeholder groups
  • Programs and services
  • Advocacy and making an impact
  • Coalitions and partnerships
  • Communications and marketing
  • Financial management

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Using Mobile Technologies for Better Engagement with Stakeholders

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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.

Democracy That Delivers Podcast: #6 Selima Ahmad on Women’s Business Leadership

Selima Ahmad won the Oslo Business for Peace in 2014.

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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Women Entrepreneurs Changing the Game in South Asia #IWD2016

Participants at a Women's Business Network meeting in Nepal in 2014.

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.

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Advocates for Change: The Role of Women Business Leaders in Achieving Gender Equality

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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.

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