CIPE’s long time partner Samriddhi, the Prosperity Foundation in Nepal is seeking to better understand why so many of their independent and small businesses never grow. What is preventing these mom-and-pop shops in Nepal from engaging in the formal economy, accessing credit, and growing their operations? What barriers do these entrepreneurs face?
Samriddhi wants to document and help tell the stories about what challenges these entrepreneurs face every day. But Samriddhi needs your help first. Using crowd funding, Samriddhi partnered with the Atlas Network: for up to $7,500 that Samriddhi raises through its crowd funding campaign, the Atlas Network will match dollar-to-dollar.
There’s only 16 days left to help them out! So read about Samriddhi’s crowd funding campaign and watch their video to help understand how you can help empower Nepali entrepreneurs.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. With World Press Freedom Day being celebrated tomorrow, May 3, it is important to recognize the important role of the visual side of free speech: cartoons can speak across languages and culture, expressing ideas in a way that words often can’t. With that in mind, CIPE is pleased to announce the winners of the 2012 Global Editorial Cartoon competition.
Earlier this month, the US Embassy in Romania organized an event with women entrepreneurs and students titled, “Women Entrepreneurs in Romania: Perspectives from the Public and Private Sectors.” Speakers at the event included the Minister of SMEs, Maria Grapini, and Gabriela Chiriac, President of the Women’s Association of Entrepreneurs in Galati. Both guest speakers have been closely involved in all the activities dedicated to women entrepreneurs in Romania including the creation of the Coalition of Women Business Associations (CAFA) and are dedicated to consolidating entrepreneurship in Romania.
The discussion brought together several members of CAFA, women entrepreneurs, and students interested in opening their own businesses. In discussing entrepreneurship and how to become successful in business, Grapini shared her personal experience in developing a personal brand as a manager and entrepreneur. While focusing on the idea that in order to be successful entrepreneurs need to unite, Chiriac stated very clearly, “Entrepreneurs unite your forces!”
Grapini also mentioned the Open Doors Campaign as a source of valuable advocacy experience for Romanian private sector representatives. The Open Doors Campaign was a CIPE-supported initiative centered around three grassroots coalitions which developed and promoted policy recommendations as part of a unified business agenda in 2002-2003.
Though both ladies emphasized the value statement behind the brand as the most important element in building a good and consistent reputation, their message to the young students and other women in the room was to be professional, stay with your values, and be consistent. It is a very strong message as positive values need constant reinforcement these days, in Romania as well as in many other countries.
For more information, see the press release published by the US Embassy here.
Camelia Bulat is Executive Director of the Regional Center for Organization Management.
This article was originally posted on the Community of Women Entrepreneurs blog.
In 2013, the world faces many challenges, ranging from youth unemployment to the destruction of the environment to armed conflicts that continue to take lives and devastate countries. This week, more than 2,000 representatives of Chambers of Commerce from around the world gathered to discuss these issues — and the role of the private sector in addressing them — at the 8th World Chambers Congress in Doha, Qatar.
The themes were as diverse as the participants, but one common thread emerged: the business community needs to be involved in helping to solve these pressing problems. And private sector voices are most effective in a democratic context.
Indeed, many of these issues are linked, often to issues of economic exclusion, which can incite violence and perpetuate cycles of conflict and poverty. “Enemy number one to economic development is armed conflict,” said Joost Hintermann of the International Crisis Group, quoting IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde.
Where do entrepreneurship ecosystems come from? Are they historical accidents or does someone create them? During Democracy That Delivers for Entrepreneurs in Chicago, April 9-10, expert panelists shared their insights into the rise of these ecosystems…
Around the world, youth unemployment represents a significant challenge to countries’ economic and social prosperity. According to the World Economic Forum, youth comprise 40 percent of the world’s unemployed. Globally, the youth unemployment rate is more than double that of adult unemployment: 12.6 percent for youth compared to 4.5 percent for adults. On a personal level, the story of Mohammed Bouazizi—the Tunisian fruit vendor whose tragic death sparked the Arab spring—continues to resonate with people around the world struggling to find economic opportunity.
Many factors contribute to the challenging economic landscape confronting young jobseekers, including lack of quality education, the global economic crisis, resource shortages, and more. One underlying factor, however, is that the public sector—traditionally a primary engine of employment in many countries—is unable to keep up with demand. Instead, young people endure chronic unemployment or underemployment, often trapped in temporary or low-productivity jobs.
One important solution to these complex issues is to build young people’s entrepreneurial capacity. Entrepreneurship provides much needed alternatives for those in need of work, while also reinvigorating countries’ economies through job creation. Entrepreneurship can lead young people to become more active members of their communities, invested in creating a better and more innovative environment for their business.
We continue to suffer profound institutional gaps on the local, national and international levels – especially in the areas of property rights, access to credit and effective governance. I attended the CIPE Democracy that Delivers for Entrepreneurs conference in Chicago on April 9-10 and shared views with thought leaders from Egypt, Kenya, Lebanon, Pakistan, the Philippines and Venezuela. While it may seem that citizens in such developing economies suffer more from institutional paralysis, the pain felt by the local start-up dealing with banks, bureaucracy and back room deals is just as real and just as prevalent on the south and west sides of Chicago.
Organizations decline when leaders and workers focus on function rather than mission. Across the wide spectrum of our global community, too many have lost sight of the core principles that make democracy work, including the right to associate economically, the right to own and finance property, and the right to have government work for everyone, not just the connected elite. The only way to dislodge this entrenched bureaucracy is to make noise – to make our voices heard. We have to demand that government at every level stop tinkering with half-measures and start integrating new thought, new technologies, and the next generation into our institutions.