We are the only institution in the world that works to support democracy and to strengthen the private sector.
Free market capitalism and global trade have resulted in the greatest economic gains in human history, yet gaps remain and some are being left behind. This is the result of unequal economic opportunity, a lack of universal entrepreneurial and economic opportunities, and an inability for people to connect to global value chains. CIPE’s programs work to address these problems. CIPE was founded on the principle that economic freedom and political freedom are linked. A strong private sector needs a flourishing democracy to work – and vice-versa. Our work centers on building strong democratic institutions to create an enabling environment for business and entrepreneurship to flourish. Whether that be leading anti-corruption efforts, training entrepreneurs, helping local business associations, chambers of commerce, and think tanks, assisting in presidential debates focusing on the economy, or building good governance structures – we are there on the front lines battling to strengthen and support democracy and its institutions so the private sector can thrive.
CIPE is one of the four core institutes of the National Endowment for Democracy, and an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Founded by President Reagan in 1983, our work is every bit as vital today as it was back then. From the Cold War to the heyday of democratic expansion in the 1990s, to the recent democratic backsliding and rise of populism across much of the world, democracy has struggled. In recent years, violent extremism, economic migration, and escalating inequality have presented new global challenges. Democracy will continue to deteriorate if government institutions ignore real economic and social needs of its citizens.