Entrepreneurship Archive

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Weitzenegger joins SEEDwork Sustainable Economic Development and Employment

Karsten Weitzenegger is an Associate of SEEDwork, the expert association for sustainable economic development and employment. Please visit my profile at http://www.seedwork.net/profile/karsten-weitzenegger SEEDwork is a registered non-profit association composed of professionals with long-standing experience in technical and financial development cooperation. The purpose of the association is the promotion of societal and economic development in developing and threshold countries. SEEDwork focuses on sustainable growth, decent work, and the promotion of international cooperation in this regard. “Growth – Income – Social Inclusion” We promote economic development and employment in a range of different areas. In many cases, reforms in the financial sector are necessary to establish transparency for investors or to provide individuals and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) with funding. This may especially apply to micro-credits for the small entities. Therefore, we link existing and would-be entrepreneurs to financing institutions. Regarding sustainable business development we use value chain analyses as […]

seedwork_logo1Karsten Weitzenegger is an Associate of SEEDwork, the expert association for sustainable economic development and employment. Please visit my profile at http://www.seedwork.net/profile/karsten-weitzenegger

SEEDwork is a registered non-profit association composed of professionals with long-standing experience in technical and financial development cooperation. The purpose of the association is the promotion of societal and economic development in developing and threshold countries. SEEDwork focuses on sustainable growth, decent work, and the promotion of international cooperation in this regard.

“Growth – Income – Social Inclusion”

We promote economic development and employment in a range of different areas. In many cases, reforms in the financial sector are necessary to establish transparency for investors or to provide individuals and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) with funding. This may especially apply to micro-credits for the small entities. Therefore, we link existing and would-be entrepreneurs to financing institutions.

Regarding sustainable business development we use value chain analyses as a starting point to develop action plans for the MSMEs involved, and we accompany their implementation. With all our activities we particularly cater for the special needs of different target groups like for example the qualification of young people to increase their employability or their chances to become self-employed, e.g. in the green sector.

In addition, we involve members of the Diaspora who wish to contribute to the economic development of their countries of origin be it through own investments or the extension/linkage of their existing businesses in their new home-countries with their country of origin. We incorporate professional bodies like chambers and associations in our work to enable companies to learn from each other and to improve their business performance.

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Foro Emprendedurismo para jóvenes en desventaja social

Desarrollo de habilidades emprendedoras en la formación profesional de jóvenes en desventaja social El Programa ‘Desarrollo de habilidades en la formación profesional de desventaja social en Centroamérica’ de la GIZ financiado por el Ministerio Federal de Cooperación Económica y Desarrollo de Alemania (BMZ) 2012-2013, esta cerrado. El grupo continua en Facebook: Foro en Facebook Documentación de nuestros Talleres 5 – 16 de Nov., 2012 – en Mannheim, Alemania: Documentación del Taller 1 8- 13 de Abril. 2013 – en Ciudad de Guatemala: Documentación del Taller 2 23- 26 de septiembre de 2013 – en San Salvador, El Salvador: Documentación del Taller 3

Desarrollo de habilidades emprendedoras en la formación profesional de jóvenes en desventaja social

El Programa ‘Desarrollo de habilidades en la formación profesional de desventaja social en Centroamérica’ de la GIZ financiado por el Ministerio Federal de Cooperación Económica y Desarrollo de Alemania (BMZ) 2012-2013, esta cerrado. El grupo continua en Facebook:

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Latin American Economic Outlook 2014 calls for better education and skills

Better education and skills are key to shift the economy up a gear, says latest Latin American Economic Outlook Veracruz, Mexico, 9 December 2014 – Latin America’s GDP growth rate has slowed down in 2014, dropping below 1.5%. This is the first time in a decade that the region grows less than the OECD average, according to the OECD Development Centre, the Commission for Latin American and the Caribbean (UN-ECLAC) and the development bank for Latin America (CAF). Given the projections in the past weeks, any recovery in 2015 is likely to be challenging. In their jointly produced Latin American Economic Outlook 2015, the three organisations call for action to address this slowdown, focusing on the role of education and skills, and noting that despite some recent progress, more needs to be done to raise educational standards and address persistent and substantial socioeconomic inequalities. “If we want to avoid a […]

Better education and skills are key to shift the economy up a gear, says latest Latin American Economic Outlook

Veracruz, Mexico, 9 December 2014 – Latin America’s GDP growth rate has slowed down in 2014, dropping below 1.5%. This is the first time in a decade that the region grows less than the OECD average, according to the OECD Development Centre, the Commission for Latin American and the Caribbean (UN-ECLAC) and the development bank for Latin America (CAF). Given the projections in the past weeks, any recovery in 2015 is likely to be challenging.

In their jointly produced Latin American Economic Outlook 2015, the three organisations call for action to address this slowdown, focusing on the role of education and skills, and noting that despite some recent progress, more needs to be done to raise educational standards and address persistent and substantial socioeconomic inequalities.

“If we want to avoid a decade of low growth in Latin America, we must improve education standards, enhance skills in the workforce and boost innovation. Policymakers need to undertake ambitious efforts to unleash higher and more equitable growth”, OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría said while launching the Outlook at the Ibero-American Summit in Veracruz on 9 December.

Structural change – such as the diversification of the economy towards knowledge-intensive sectors – is needed to supply the increasing demand for skilled workers. As noted by Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of ECLAC, “without the transformation of the production structure there will be a link missing in the chain that connects education, productivity and innovation.”

Such a link has important implications for income distribution. Diversification implies the creation of quality, better-paid jobs, which in turn entails less informality and underemployment – and hence less inequality. Policies for learning and diversification should be at the top of the agenda in the coming years in Latin America and the Caribbean.

“In the absence of an exceptionally favourable external environment, the region needs to deepen regional integration and address the structural challenges of development, to support its growth potential, primarily in the areas of innovation and production patterns, and education and technical capacities that these require”, said Enrique García, CAF President and Chief Executive Officer.

The Outlook notes that, on average, the gap in education performance for a student in secondary school in Latin America relative to an OECD student is still quite high: the equivalent of 2.4 additional years of schooling. Furthermore, socioeconomic inequalities strongly influence both access and education outcomes in the region. Only 56% of students in the poorest quarter of the population attend secondary school, versus 87% of students in the wealthiest quarter.

Limitations in the quality of education are also reflected in the skill shortages and mismatches in the labour market, severely impacting the competitiveness of Latin American companies. The region’s businesses face greater challenges in finding appropriately skilled employees than any other region in the world. The Outlook shows that the probability of a Latin American firm facing obstacles in finding staff with the adequate capabilities is three times higher than a similar firm in South Asia and 13 times higher than a firm in Pacific Asia. The issue is particularly prevalent in key sectors such as the automotive industry and machinery.

To tackle these acute skills shortages, targeted policies are needed in pre-primary, secondary, technical and professional education. Policymakers need to provide more and smarter investment in pre-primary education, where important soft-skills development takes place, such as socialisation and learning perseverance, which are of critical importance in the labour market. Policies are also needed to ensure that resources are redistributed to reduce socio-economic inequalities. Classroom practices need adaption to ensure better performance, including tutoring, managing teacher expectations and student motivation. Increasing the quality of teaching also relies on monitoring and evaluation, and better incentives.

Finally, government and the private sector should work together to better connect technical and vocational training with the demand for skills in a changing world economy.

The Latin American Economic Outlook

Published for the eighth consecutive year, the Latin American Economic Outlook 2015 features a macro-economic analysis of trends in the region and a focus education, skills and innovation for development. The content of the report will be available online on 9 December 2014 on www.latameconomy.org.

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Why Evaluations Fail: The Importance of Good Monitoring

Evaluation reports frequently blame poor monitoring data for preventing a full assessment of programme outcomes. Meanwhile, programme staff often complain that evaluations come too late, too infrequently, and don’t contain much useful information. This illustrates a common problem: the disconnect between monitoring and evaluation reduces the effectiveness of both.

A new paper from the DCED addresses this challenge and explores the synergies between M and E, using the example of the DCED Standard, a widely used results measurement framework. Why should evaluators be interested in monitoring? How can monitoring systems support evaluations, and vice versa? Who is responsible for what, and what are the expectations of each?

Download: Why_Evaluations_Fail_Aug2014.pdf (PDF, 650 kB)
Source: The Donor Committee for Enterprise Development

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Productive work for youth: Inclusive solutions for youth employment

Follow this European Development Days 2013 session at http://eudevdays.eu/topics/productive-work-youth

Youth represent 17 % of the world’s population and over 40 % of its unemployed, leaving millions economically and socially excluded, which exerts a high cost on society. At the same time, many young people work in informal jobs with a low quality of employment: low earnings, high levels of insecurity, limited chances for advancement, and a lack of social protection. Creating 90 % of the world’s jobs, the private sector is a driving force for poverty reduction. However, young jobseekers, especially marginalised young people, such as care leavers, often do not match the skills required by the private sector and young aspiring entrepreneurs face obstacles in starting or expanding their productive activities.

Interventions to enhance productive work for youth needs to focus on improving the education and employability opportunities for all young people, in close cooperation with the private sector. A cross-sectorial approach, between private sector enterprise and CSOs, to address the education and employment needs of care leavers, and other disadvantaged young people, plays a critical part in ending intergenerational poverty and social exclusion, while ensuring good transitions to adulthood. Furthermore, it is crucial to support the creation and growth of (youth-led) MSMEs, especially in employment-intensive sectors, to increase the private sector’s capacity to absorb employees. In order to address the problems of informal employment and the rising numbers of working poor, the enhancement of job quality should be at the core of all interventions, promoting decent jobs.

In this session UNIDO and SOS–CVI are joining forces to discuss these pressing challenges and combine their vast expertise with key contributions from Deutsche Post DHL, the European Youth Forum and JADE, to identify and share innovative solutions. Follow this European Development Days 2013 session at http://eudevdays.eu/topics/productive-work-youth

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DCED Global Seminar on Results Measurement 24-26 March 2014, Bangkok

Following popular demand, the The Donor Committee for Enterprise Development DCED is organising the second Global Seminar on results measurement in the field of private sector development (PSD), 24-26 March 2014 in Bangkok, Thailand. The Seminar is being organised in cooperation with the ILO and with financial support from the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). It will have a similar format to the DCED Global Seminar in 2012, which was attended by 100 participants from 54 different organisations, field programmes and governments.

You are invited to join the Seminar as a participant. Download the registration form here, and send to Admin@Enterprise-Development.org. There is a fee of $600 for those accepted for participation, and all participants must pay their own travel, accommodation and insurance costs. Early registration is advised. More: http://www.enterprise-development.org/page/seminar2014

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International Youth Day: See some inspirational young people moving development forward

To celebrate International Youth Day on 12 August 2013, we’re shining a spotlight on just some of the young people who are refusing to inherit a world where extreme poverty and inequality exist.

I hear so many people dismiss the issue of global poverty with the words ‘It’s just how the world is. There will always be poverty, you’re wasting your time trying to change anything’. I wonder if they thought the same way when they were 15?

Before we become jaded and cynical, before the daily newsreel of human suffering becomes background noise, most of us believe changing the world is possible. Guess what? It is.

Sometimes it comes quickly in revolutions, but more often it creeps up on us slowly so we almost don’t notice. We’ve halved extreme global poverty in the last 20 years. HALVED. And with continued momentum we could finish the job by 2030.

One thing I’m sure of is we’re going to need young people like these to make it happen. Prepare to be inspired.

Moti was born in the slums of Kathmandu and became an ActionAid sponsored child at the age of 11. He is now a member of ActionAid’s global youth network, Activista.

UK video blogger Charlie McDonnell aka Charlieissocoollike travelled to Tanzania with the Enough Food for Everyone IF coalition, where he met 15 year old Frank who overcame malnutrition to become a hunger activist.

Young photographers from poor communities in South Africa are documenting the poverty and inequality around them, exhibiting the photos and driving the call for change.

A new generation of Kenyans are developing new mindsets, embracing new technologies and innovating solutions to social problems in the country, influencing the government at the same time.

Malala Yousefzai spent her 16th birthday addressing the UN with a demand for universal access to education. She was shot in the head by the Taliban less than a year ago for campaigning in Pakistan for girls* education rights.

Modjadji was the first girl in her South African village to go to university, thanks to a government bursary which is giving students from poor communities opportunities they could only ever dream of before.

We’re not all young, but we believe it can be done.

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Review of M4P Evaluation Methods and Approaches, ITAD, April 2013

The reviewers analysed 32 M4P programme reviews and evaluations, monitoring and eReview of M4P Evaluation Methods and Approaches, ITAD, April 2013: valuation (M&E) frameworks and programme reports to help guide the design and implementation of future M4P evaluations. Generally, M4P evaluations are found to be weak in terms of considering systemic changes, triangulation practices and use of theories of change, among other things.

Description
This report presents the findings of a study undertaken by ITAD for DFID to review the methods used to evaluate M4P programmes. It is intended to help guide the design and implementation of future evaluations.

M4P programmes are defined as playing a facilitative, adaptive role – in order to contribute to systemic, large scale and sustainable market changes that positively affect the poor. The nature of the approach, and the complexity of the markets within which it operates, present a number of challenges for evaluation. Evaluation approaches must address these challenges, if they are to avoid inaccurate estimations of impact.

Methods for info gathering
The reviewers analysed 32 M4P programme reviews and evaluations, monitoring and evaluation (M&E) frameworks and programme reports, including 14 evaluation reports, and consulted with 14 individuals and organisations in the field.

Summary of results
The M4P evaluations reviewed were generally found to be weak, in terms of:

– consideration of systemic, sustainable changes in market systems;
– data quality (small sample sizes with little consideration of sampling frames, statistical significance or bias);
– triangulation practices (particularly with regard to qualitative data collection);
– the use of theories of change (those used were often linear, not externally vetted, with assumptions not adequately tested);
– consistency in units for facilitating accurate aggregation; and
– consideration of unintended negative effects.

Advice from the DCED Standard for Results Measurement is included, for example on measuring systemic change.

The report concludes that, while evaluations must be objective, they also need to be based on in-depth understanding of the interventions. As an example of this combination, it cites the DCED Standard – which combines internal monitoring with an external audit of the monitoring system.

Review of M4P Evaluation Methods and Approaches, ITAD, April 2013
Source of information: The Donor Committee for Enterprise Development.

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Evaluation of the European Union’s Support to Private Sector Development in Third Countries, ADE, 2013

This evaluation was commissioned by the Evaluation Unit in the Directorate General Development and Cooperation on behalf of the European Commission. It assesses European Union support to private sector development (PSD) during the period 2004 – 2010, where a total of €2.4bn of funds was directly contracted by the Commission. It aims at providing an overall independent assessment of the EU ’s past and current cooperation for PSD and at identifying key lessons with a view to improving its strategies and programmes.

Methods for info gathering
The evaluation applied a rigorous methodology with a view to reaching useful conclusions and recommendations based on sound analysis. It designed a four-phase approach consisting of structuring, desk, field and synthesis phases.

Summary of results
Over the 2004 – 2010 period, the EU developed a wide set of support mechanisms for intervening in PSD, allocated substantial amounts of funding to the sector, and provided aid across a wide range of PSD – related matters, and in numerous countries with which it cooperated.

These efforts led to a number of successes, for instance in terms of EU contributions to iinstitutional and regulatory reforms. The EU’s support for PSD was furthermore considered particularly relevant and successful in a number of middle-income countries. It also possessed specific types of potential, though not fully realised, value-added, notably through (i) its ability to provide grant resources for blending mechanisms, (ii) providing PSD support in the context of trade negotiations based on its EU mandate for trade matters, and (iii) its ability to transfer EU know-how and innovative practices.

Results remained uneven, however, and the evaluation identifies several factors that have played a role in this respect. There were few strong initial needs diagnoses, an essential tool for adequately gearing support. EU support was also not always embedded in strategies geared to the maximisation of the impact of PSD support through appropriate prioritisation and sequencing, building on the value added of the EU and other contributors aiming at maximising synergies with support provided through different EU mechanisms or other actors. The EU overall delivery model of supporting the private sector through the public sector was also not conducive to optimal delivery of its aid. A number of opportunities were furthermore missed, notably in terms of ensuring that the PSD expertise existing in different EU internal market DGs was made available for PSD support in third countries, or in terms of capitalising on the knowledge acquired by EU Delegations in this field. Finally, despite the financial weight and the breadth of its support, the EU was not recognised as a major contributor to PSD.

Since 2004 the EU has thus made useful contributions to the development of the private sector in third countries, but weaknesses remained in terms of results obtained. These can to a large extent be explained by difficulties in terms of management for results and a lack of strategic approach at country level. That said, the EU continues to have a great potential for PSD support that was not fully activated over the period covered, but should give clear leads for the future.

Funding agency: European Commission. Date completed: March 2013
Evaluation of the European Union’s Support to Private Sector Development in Third Countries, Volume 1 Main Report, ADE, 2013 (1.9 MB)
Source of information: The Donor Committee for Enterprise Development.

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The Rise of the South | Human Development Report 2013

Human Progress in a Diverse World

The 21st century is witnessing a profound shift in global dynamics, driven by the fast-rising new powers of the developing world. China has overtaken Japan as the world’s second biggest economy, lifting hundreds of millions of people out of poverty in the process. India is reshaping its future with new entrepreneurial creativity and social policy innovation. Brazil is raising its living standards by expanding international relationships and antipoverty programmes that are emulated worldwide. But the “Rise of the South” is a much larger phenomenon. Indonesia, Mexico, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey and other developing countries are becoming leading actors on the world stage. The 2013 Human Development Report identifies more than 40 developing countries that have done better than expected in human development in recent decades, with their progress accelerating markedly over the past 10 years.

The 2013 Human Development Report presents the contemporary global context and charts a path for policymakers and citizens to navigate the increasing interconnectedness of the world and to face the growing global challenges. It describes how the dynamics of power, voice and wealth in the world are changing-and identifies the new policies and institutions necessary to address these 21st century realities and promote human development with greater equity, sustainability and social integration.

Progress in human development requires action and institutions at both the global and national levels.

At the global level, institutional reforms and innovation are required to protect and provide global public goods. At the national level, state commitment to social justice is important, as is the reality that one-size-fits-all technocratic policies are neither realistic nor effective given the diversity of national contexts, cultures and institutional conditions. Nevertheless, overarching principles such as social cohesion, state commitment to education, health and social protection, and openness to trade integration emerge as means of navigating towards sustainable and equitable human development.

The rise of the South presents new opportunities for generating a greater supply of public goods

A sustainable world requires a greater supply of global public goods. Global issues today are increasing in number and urgency, from mitigation of climate change and international economic and financial instability to the fight against terrorism and nuclear proliferation. They require a global response. Yet in many areas, international cooperation continues to be slow-and at times dangerously hesitant. The rise of the South presents new opportunities for providing global public goods more effectively and for unlocking today’s many stalemated global issues.

“Publicness” and “privateness” are in most cases not innate properties of a public good but social constructs. As such, they represent a policy choice. National governments can step in when there is underprovision at the national level, but when global challenges arise, international cooperation is necessary and can happen only by voluntary action of many governments. Given the many pressing challenges, progress in determining what is public and what is private will require strong, committed personal and institutional leadership.

Download:
Human Development Report 2013 Complete English
Human Development Report 2013 Summary English

German version