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

Using Technology to Strengthen Civil Society in Cambodia

Article at a glance:

  • Cambodia remains one of the least developed countries in Asia, but internet connectivity is on the rise.
  • Digital tools, often inexpensive or free, can multiply the impact of advocacy and help associations run more efficiently.
  • CIPE and Panoply Digital worked with Cambodian partners to identify useful online tools for advocacy and capacity development.

ALECA Private Sector Perception Index

Opening-up to the European market, as prescribed by the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement inevitably raises t

Building a Better Business Environment for Nigerian Women Entrepreneurs through Technology-Enabled Advocacy Efforts

Article at a glance:

  • CIPE partnered with the largest coalition of women’s business and professional associations in Nigeria, the Association of Nigerian Women Business Network (ANWBN), to increase the organization’s capacity to integrate useful, low-cost information and communication technologies (ICTs) into its upcoming national advocacy efforts.
  • Taking into consideration Nigeria’s limiting technological environment, including low bandwidth and frequent power outages, CIPE delivered a training workshop focused on how to use mobile and online tools to improve data collection, research, and communications. The tools selected were based on ease of use and accessibility with free and low-cost solutions being preferable.
  • Easiness to navigate and low costs were key reasons for ANWBN members to adopt and integrate some of the tools that were taught from CIPE’s workshop.

CIPE

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