Building entrepreneurial economies requires a number of steps, all well known: building market institutions; removing barriers to starting, operating, and growing a business; reforming educational systems; and creating a broader awareness and understanding of what entrepreneurship means as well as appreciation for its contribution to the development of democratic societies. As simple as the recipe for entrepreneurship-driven development may be, the implementation of necessary reforms is a much more complex matter. Only when the right institutional climate is in place can small business success stories become more commonplace. Entrepreneurial economies sustain growth through the rule of law and a functioning democracy. Institutional change takes time, effort, determination, and, above all, dedicated reformers.
As countries around the world face a growing unemployment crisis, governments must look for new solutions to create jobs. The public sector, the traditional engine of employment in many developing countries, can no longer absorb millions of new graduates who may instead endure chronic unemployment. Entrepreneurship not only provides much-needed alternatives for those in need of work, but also reinvigorates their countries’ economies. These efforts can only succeed if institutional shortcomings that make starting and growing business difficult are addressed.
The Center for International Private Enterprise's (CIPE) experience around the world shows that entrepreneurs themselves can become a driving force for reform, when they work together and make their voices heard through business associations and chambers of commerce. They can formulate concrete reform recommendations and engage in a constructive dialogue with the government. In doing so, small businesses can become an integral part of the complex institutional transformation necessary for democratic and entrepreneurial economies to flourish.
The Value of Entrepreneurship
- Small businesses built by entrepreneurs are an important building block in creating an open marketplace. Working together, small business owners can become a powerful voice for shaping policies that better position small businesses as engines of economic growth.
- Because economic opportunities for women and youth are frequently limited in many developing countries, these groups are key targets to participate in economic reforms that make starting a business easier and more profitable.
- Educating young people on business and entrepreneurial skills can have a multiplier effect on economic impact. If the tools are easy to use, young people will share their knowledge with families and friends, creating even more economic activity.
Teaching Entrepreneurship in Afghanistan
CIPE teaches vital business and entrepreneurial skills in schools throughout Afghanistan. Through the Tashabos curriculum, CIPE provides civics and entrepreneurship training for teachers and students. Originally centered in Kabul, the program now reaches more than 33,000 students in 44 schools across four provinces. As of 2009, 1,035 Tashabos students started their own businesses, 164 students helped improve a family business, and 94 reopened former businesses. Altogether, these businesses provide nearly 4,500 jobs.
Entrepreneurship and Leadership Training in Peru
In 2008, CIPE and Peruvian think tank Instituto Invertir launched EmprendeAhora (formerly LíderAcción), a civics and entrepreneurship program for university students. EmprendeAhora has hosted more than 300 students from 23 regions of Peru. Working in groups, students have developed 78 business plans for community development projects. Of these plans, a total of 20 businesses are in operation. In 2009, program alumni established an alumni network with bylaws and elected officers. The network reaches more than 6,500 students in 13 regions of Peru and was created to support program alumni as they take leadership roles in their communities and implement their business plans.
Samriddhi, the Prosperity Foundation
Hosted in partnership with Nepal-based think tank Samriddhi, the Prosperity Foundation, Arthalaya is an intensive five-day workshop that includes mock debates, business simulations, lectures, and other sessions with entrepreneurs from all over Nepal. Samriddhi has also worked with Arthalaya alumni to start entrepreneurs’ clubs at universities throughout Nepal. The clubs are student-run organizations that offer fellow students activities and opportunities to learn more about starting a business and the market economy. Club activities include meetings with local entrepreneurs and documentary screenings on business topics.
Global Entrepreneurship Week
CIPE is an active participant and official partner of Global Entrepreneurship Week. In 2010, the week kicked off with the launch of the Arabic translation of Good Capitalism, Bad Capitalism, and the Economics of Growth and Prosperity, and a keynote speech from the book’s co-author Robert Litan, Vice President of Research and Policy at the Kauffman Foundation.
- Democratic Governance
- Access to Information
- Combating Corruption
- Business Association Development
- Corporate Governance
- Legal & Regulatory Reform
- Informal Sector & Property Rights
- Corporate Citizenship (CSR)
- South Asia
- Southeast Europe
- Middle East & North Africa
- Latin America & the Caribbean
Entrepreneurship education in Afghanistan