Private Sector Leadership for a Country in Conflict

CIPE works with leaders from the Syrian business community as a moderate, unifying, non-sectarian constituency that champions democratic alternatives to the ongoing crisis gripping Syria. CIPE’s partnership with the Syrian Economic Forum (SEF) has resulted in a series of forward-looking initiatives that have enhanced prospects for democratic governance and contributed to the creation of economic opportunities for Syrians displaced by the conflict.

CIPE adapts international smart practices in think tank operations to the complex Syrian environment through ongoing technical assistance and support to SEF, ensuring organizational excellence. SEF conducts research and analysis on the environment for business and commercial activity in Syria publishes a variety of policy products that advance market-oriented solutions and convenes related dialogue. CIPE and SEF have developed a framework for local economic development including assessment, community-based dialogue, and private sector-led strategies, which is being implemented by various localities in Syria.

CIPE supports initiatives to foster entrepreneurship and civic engagement among young Syrians affected by the conflict. SEF provides training to recent high school graduates in a curriculum covering principles of economics and market systems, strategic planning, critical thinking, business planning, ethics, and negotiation and conflict resolution. A train-the-teacher initiative, partnerships with local universities, and an online component have significantly expanded the reach of the curriculum. With CIPE’s backing as a member of the Global Entrepreneurship Network, SEF serves as an official host of Global Entrepreneurship Week.