RNGG Mayoral Forum
In the western highlands city of Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, CIPE and local partner Red Nacional de Grupos Gestores (RNGG) have fostered a growing entrepreneurial community through the Xelajú Naranja program. Since 2016, Xelajú Naranja has supported young entrepreneurs in the creative industries (i.e., IT, media, publicity) to develop and grow their business. CIPE’s program has also opened space for active citizen engagement in the community, with young entrepreneurs beginning to gain recognition from their community and to participate in improving their sector and city. This is no small feat in a country where mistrust lingers among different groups following years of internal conflict and polarization.
To support the entrepreneurial community in Quetzaltenango (or Xela as locals refer to their city), CIPE and RNGG helped launch a Creative Industries Consortium, an organization comprised of civil society leaders, entrepreneurs, and government authorities, with the goal of strengthening the creative economy in Quetzaltenango. The Consortium coordinates capacity building activities, festivals, and entrepreneurship fairs, and advises CIPE’s program activities.
Working together, in May 2019 RNGG and the Consortium hosted the first Creative and Cultural Industries Forum with mayoral candidates and community members. Of the seventeen candidates running for office, eleven attended the forum. More than 130 community members also attended the event to engage in constructive, democratic dialogue with their potential elected officials. Through events like the Mayoral Forum, CIPE is helping local leaders create stronger alliances between civil society, the private sector, and government officials in order to amplify support for creative entrepreneurs. As the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Quetzaltenango continues to grow, these alliances are strengthening community ties in the spirit of inclusive democracy.
Advancing Digital Transformation in Pakistan
Jehan Ara is a long-time CIPE partner and FEDN member. She is also a motivator, an entrepreneur, a social activist and a strong propagator of extending the power and use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) beyond pure traditional business, to empower and enable communities. Policy Advocacy through the use of cutting edge technology is one of Jehan’s passions. Cyber Crime, Privacy and Data Protection legislation are some of the things she is advocating for. She is a part of the Pakistani Prime Minister’s taskforce on IT & Telecom working on recommendations regarding policy changes to make ease of doing business in the 21st century a priority for the country. She is also on the World Bank’s Advisory Board on Gender and Development.
In this Democracy That Delivers podcast, she talks about her path to becoming an entrepreneur, as well as some successes and challenges seen in Pakistan when it comes to advancing digital transformation of business, and the economy more broadly. Listen to the podcast here: https://www.cipe.org/blog/2019/07/09/democracy-that-delivers-163-jehan-ara-on-digital-transformation-in-pakistan-and-developing-economies/