Case Studies

Strengthening Women’s Business Associations

By Corina Schwartz

The political changes of 1989 triggered the development of the private sector in Romania and the creation of support organizations to represent the interests of the business community. Romanian women proved ambitious and willing to take risks, making their way into an arena previously reserved for men by founding successful businesses and ascending to top management positions.

Developing Women’s Entrepreneurship

Malawi, one of the world’s least developed countries, has held democratic elections since 1994. After three decades of rule by a president-for-life, the country is beginning to emerge from political and economic underdevelopment and an acute lack of civil society. Women’s groups in particular are beginning to play an important role in the development of civil society and the private sector. One of the most successful organizations has been the National Association of Business Women of Malawi (NABW).

Advising Legislators on Economic Issues

In the 1980s, the Congress of the Dominican Republic had little influence on public policy decisions, which were dominated by the executive branch. The country needed serious economic policy change in order to overcome debilitating problems like unemployment, inflation, foreign debt, and misuse of public funds. Yet legislators were at the mercy of the government bureaucracy when it came to estimating the economic impact of legislation. They had few resources with which to analyze legislation, lacking both personal and committee research staff.

Developing Regional Business Agendas

In 2003, using a process developed by the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), business associations, think tanks, and civil society organizations in eight Russian regions formed local coalitions to advocate for a better business climate. In each region, the local coalition crafted a Regional Business Agenda (RBA) for improved private sector growth. Participants worked in small groups with their regional partners to identify common obstacles and development objectives.

Finding the Keys to Political and Economic Change

By Fleur C. Luntao Harris

In September 2004, the Ahram Regional Press Institute (ARPI) and the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) organized a historic two-day forum in Alexandria, Egypt that focused on increasing awareness and knowledge of democratic institutions. It highlighted the importance of improving governance through citizen participation in decision making, a vibrant and independent media, and the reduction of legal and regulatory burdens.

Advancing Transparency and Accountability

By Jen Maceyko

Egypt undertook comprehensive reforms in the 1990s, including large-scale privatization and development of the capital market, as it shifted toward a market economy. Despite these efforts, the financial collapse of a number of major companies revealed the need for widespread adoption of corporate governance principles within the Egyptian business community.

Developing the Private Sector through Business Associations

By Mark T. McCord

In October 2003, when the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) opened its office in Kabul, Afghanistan, strong and sustainable business associations were in short supply. Establishing an effective, trusted business network was crucial to private sector development. At the time, apart from the Afghan-American Chamber of Commerce (AACC), which was headquartered in Washington, D.C.

Lowering Barriers to Participation in the Formal Economy

By Nafisul Islam

In recent decades, the percentage of Venezuela’s workforce employed in the informal sector has been steadily growing, and by 2003 more people were employed in the informal sector than in the formal sector. This phenomenon – informality – can severely undermine a country’s economic and political progress and stability through weak rule of law and ambiguous property rights. Informal entrepreneurs cannot access the benefits associated with formal businesses, such as bank credit and legal recognition of their businesses.

Jua Kali Associations in Kenya: A Force for Development and Reform

In Kenya, the millions of entrepreneurs and workers in the informal sector have long been disorganized and without a voice. Known as the jua kali, the sector faces numerous challenges. Cumbersome laws and regulations tend to inhibit the growth of jua kali businesses, and as business owners are unable to secure ownership over their shops and land, it is diffi cult to access credit.
To these numerous challenges, the government has given a mixed response, largely because of a lack of dialogue between the government and the informal sector.

Reform Case Study: Advancing Reform and Opportunity in Bangladesh Through Private Initiative, 1999-2005

The Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) has led the way in integrating private sector input into Bangladesh’s national policy process. With assistance from the Center for International Private Enterprise, DCCI developed an advocacy campaign that achieved important economic reforms. These reforms liberalized the economy, improved the investment climate, facilitated job creation, and made government more responsive and accountable.

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