Business Association Development

Business associations – including chambers of commerce and trade associations – contribute to economic growth, development, peace, and prosperity. They play a key role in building inclusive entrepreneurship ecosystems and can bolster the ability of firms of all sizes to grow and create jobs. Through associations, the private sector can voice legitimate needs while engaging in a transparent policy reform process.

Voluntary, membership-based associations are microcosms of the democratic process, bringing entrepreneurs together to strengthen market economies. In order to be successful, they need strong internal governance, membership development, financial sustainability, and advocacy skills.

CIPE builds the capacity of associations as the independent voice of the business community. CIPE helps associations advocate for a more competetive economic environment. In countries around the world, CIPE and its local partners are proving that with an informed and participatory approach, business associations can elevate public-private dialogue and facilitate economic growth.

Business Association Programs at CIPE

Through its programs and international partnerships, CIPE acts to boost the capacity of business associations in these areas:

  • Strengthen business associations through building sound governance and accountability to members.
  • Promote best practices in association management through executive education, technical assistance, case studies, and toolkits.
  • Facilitate public-private dialogue by uniting the business community around common issues and policy proposals.
  • Provide program models such as the National Business Agenda to assists business associations in creating grassroots-driven campaigns that promote democratic and economic reforms.
  • Educate businesses and policymakers on the importance of participatory policymaking.

Read more about CIPE's work with business associations around the world.

Related Publications

Multi-Stakeholder Platforms: A Crucial Mechanism for Building an Enabling Business Environment

Article at a glance

  • Addressing the challenges of poverty and marginalization through multi-stakeholder partnerships is key to building prosperous and inclusive societies.
  • Private sector engagement in shaping the post-2015 development agenda is needed to achieve this shared goal.
  • Public-private dialogue provides an important platform for businesses and governments to constructively engage in creating more participatory and sustainable economies.

Strategies for Policy Reform Volume 3

Case Studies in Achieving Democracy That Delivers Through Better Governance

2014 Annual Report


The Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) delivers extensive experience and tools from three decades of engagement in democratic and market reforms. Its seasoned experts produce real world results through the implementation of workable, cost-effective, business-led solutions to complex policy and governance issues.

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