business Archive

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New OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises

OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.

Ministers from OECD and developing economies will today agree new guidelines to promote more responsible business conduct by multinational enterprises, and a second set of guidance to limit the use of conflict minerals.

Forty-two countries will commit to new, tougher standards of corporate behaviour in the updated Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises: the 34 OECD countries plus Argentina, Brazil, Egypt, Latvia, Lithuania, Morocco, Peru and Romania. The updated Guidelines include new recommendations on human rights abuse and company responsibility for their supply chains, making them the first inter-governmental agreement in this area.

The Guidelines establish that firms should respect human rights in every country in which they operate. Companies should also respect environmental and labour standards, for example, and have appropriate due diligence processes in place to ensure this happens. These include issues such as paying decent wages, combating bribe solicitation and extortion, and the promotion of sustainable consumption.

The Guidelines are a comprehensive, non-binding code of conduct that OECD member countries and others have agreed to promote among the business sector. A new, tougher process for complaints and mediation has also been put in place.

“The business community shares responsibility for restoring growth and trust in markets,” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría. “These guidelines will help the private sector grow their businesses responsibly by promoting human rights and boosting social development around the world.”

Ministers from adhering countries will also agree to a Recommendation designed to combat the illicit trade in minerals that finance armed conflict.

Illegal exploitation of natural resources in fragile African states has been fueling conflict across the region for decades. While data is scarce, it is estimated that up to 80% of minerals in some of the worst-affected zones may be smuggled out. The illegal trade stokes conflict, boosts crime and corruption, finances international terrorism and blocks economic and social development.

The Recommendation clarifies how companies can identify and better manage risks throughout the supply chain, from local exporters and mineral processors to the manufacturing and brand-name companies that use these minerals in their products.

The OECD and emerging economies worked closely with business, trade unions and non-governmental organisations to produce both sets of guidelines.

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OECD establishes tax and development task force

With developing countries and other key stakeholders – including NGOs and business – as members, the Task Force will develop clear and effective mechanisms to make progress in the field of tax and development. It will convene in early 2010 as an informal group representative of all stakeholders, to develop clear and effective mechanisms for implementation and avoid duplication. The informal Task Force will begin by mapping out existing international efforts relating to tax and development. http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/7/36/44493096.pdf

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ADB Strengthens Business Processes to Boost Quality, Responsiveness of Work

ADB has begun implementing sweeping new changes to the way it does business to improve the quality and responsiveness of its work. Starting this January, business processes are being streamlined to make them more efficient, to lower transaction costs, and to enable ADB to respond swiftly to client needs. The improvements will help ADB realize the development goals laid out under its long term strategic framework, Strategy 2020, in order to achieve its overarching vision of a region free of poverty. http://www.adb.org/article.asp?id=13133

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New XING Group: Aid & Development Professionals

Karsten Weitzenegger took over the moderation of the Aid & Development Professionals group on XING (https://www.xing.com/net/aiddevprofs/) and invited all subscribers of this Newsletter. This Group a forum for international development professionals working with different organisations to end poverty world-wide. XING is an online networking tool you can use to manage all of your contacts and to find interesting new business contacts. The group has 194 members today, there is a good chance you know someone. Here is an invitation to join the group: http://www.xing.com/group-17892.250b88/4466179

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New Publications

Responsible enterprise, foreign direct investment, and investment promotion
http://www.iied.org/pubs/display.php?o=15511IIED
Foreign direct investment (FDI) is widely considered to be a key factor in economic development in middle and low income countries. Positively, it can be associated with the introduction of new technologies, job creation, access to new markets and improvements in the competitiveness of host countries. But too often, FDI has been associated with environmental degradation, increased inequality, and lack of integration with the local economy. A number of host country government departments have a role in influencing the overall investment climate. Among them, Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs) are often players because they are in the front line of targeting investors and marketing the country as a whole. This book brings together a series of papers identifying opportunities for IPAs to attract FDI that is associated with positive contributions to sustainable development and good corporate social responsibility practices. The papers are written by IIED researchers and other sectoral experts, multilateral organizations working closely with IPAs in attracting FDI, and representatives of IPAs themselves. The book points to a number of opportunities for IPAs in attracting FDI with good CSR practices and highlights key leverage points and practical tools to achieve this. It is intended to provide a primer for investment promotion agencies and pointers for approaches that could be deployed in the future. By Annie Dufey and Maryanne Grieg-Gran. International Institute for Environment and Development, 2008.

Commodity Dependence, Resource Curse and Export Diversification in Africa
http://www.iwim.uni-bremen.de/africa/africanyearbook.htm

The 12th edition of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook published in April 2007 by the Institute for World Economics and International Management (IWIM), University of Bremen is entitled ”Africa – Commodity Dependence, Resource Curse and Export Diversification”. It contains detailed analyses and development theory perspectives on the challenges at the policy and economic level in managing the high dependence on natural resources in numerous African states. The high resource dependence of these countries coupled with poor handling of resource wealth, especially with regard to resources of high geostrategic significance like oil, are primarily responsible for the above problems.

Stepping up the ladder: how business can help achieve the MDGs
http://tinyurl.com/59asvl
Business and development is the topic to watch and work on in 2008, as businesses
respond to sustained pressure to contribute to the MDGs. Maintain the pressure, manage the engagement, and the prize is a new contribution by business to poverty reduction and sustainable livelihoods: social welfare contributions and links to social enterprises, yes, but also new procurement practices and new kinds of partnership with local communities and local government. To understand the potential, think of business engagement as a (short) ladder with three – possibly four – steps.

How to Design, Negotiate, and Implement a Free Trade Agreement in Asia
http://www.aric.adb.org/pdf/FTA_Manual.pdf
This ADB reference book is intended to be used mainly in present and planned FTA training courses of the Asian Development Bank, to increase the knowledge and capacity of officials who are active in designing, negotiating, and implementing FTAs. Building on theories of international trade economics and the good?practiceFTA experiences accumulated by both front-runners and late beginners in this area, the book explains important facts and benchmarks to be considered when preparing, negotiating, and enforcing FTAs. Rather than going into the details of specific topics, this reference book covers the overall FTA process and its main features.

OECD-DAC Glossary of Key Terms in Evaluation. Arabic, English and French

http://tinyurl.com/6djkvf
Evaluation is a field where development partners work closely together and need to use a common technical vocabulary, despite widely differing linguistic backgrounds. Accordingly, the OECD-DAC Network on Development Evaluation has developed a glossary of key terms in evaluation and results-based management to help to clarify concepts and to promote consistent use of common terms in these areas. The glossary was originally published in 2002 in English, French and Spanish and has since been made available in Chinese, Dutch, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Kiswahili, Turkish and Swedish. It has been very widely used and is now a standard reference. The present publication now offers the glossary in Arabic, in a trilingual format with English and French.

The 2008 Reader on Private Sector Development – Measuring and Reporting Results
http://www.mmw4p.org/dyn/bds/docs/detail/649/4
Paper by Jim Tanburn, ITC, SDC
There is little information available about the impacts of programmes for private sector development (PSD), mainly because programme goals are often very ambitious, and impacts costly to quantify, relative to the resources available. Indeed, the cost of measuring impacts is often classified as an ‘overhead’, to be kept to a minimum. Those aiming to stimulate systemic change also point out that their work does not lend itself to the mechanistic model of inputs-outputs-outcomes-impacts in conventional thinking. Besides, practitioners would need to accept the methodology, and to be rewarded for good performance, for results measurement to be adopted on a large scale. However, current indicators in common usage, such as leverage (to be maximised) and overhead (to be minimised), encourage perverse incentives and distract from the core task of achieving developmental goals. The many self-published ‘success stories’ leave most observers confused.

GTZ’s experience in value chain development in Asia: an external perspective
http://www2.gtz.de/wbf/doc/GTZ_experience_in_VC_development_Asia.pdf

Value chain development has become an increasingly common focus for development agencies over the last few years. GTZ’s experience in this sphere has also been growing, both practically and conceptually. Practically, projects have been implemented following best practices and approaches available. Conceptionally, the ”ValueLinks” methodology, which is now accepted as the typical ”GTZ approach”, was developed based on networking between GTZ supported programs in 3 continents and GTZ headquarters. In order to gain more insight from the practical point of view, this discussion paper was commissioned to examine and compare experiences made in the last few years with differing approaches across a region. Focussing on five countries in Asia – Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam – it aims to outline the main characteristics of GTZ’s value chain work and identify the key challenges emerging from this. In doing so, it seeks to contribute to learning within GTZ and in the wider donor community.The paper is built on one key premise: that in working in value chains GTZ’s interest is to achieve impacts that are large-scale and sustainable, requiring systemic change beyond individual firms. It is structured around a framework of issues and criteria for describing and assessing work in value chains and the four key stages in value chain development work: initial selection and analysis, strategies, detailed interventions and monitoring and evaluation.

Public-Private Partnership Models in TVET and their Impact on the Role of Government
http://www2.gtz.de/wbf/doc/2.2_06_GTZ_ENG.pdf
This paper by Edda Grunwald looks at how public private partnerships (PPP) in Technical and Vocational Education (TVET) have been used in developing countries such as Egypt and Chile with support from the German Development Cooperation. The emphasis is on the gains that can be made from such partnerships and the governance frameworks that need to be in place in order for them to work optimally. The processes through which each of these countries went in order to implement such systems are described in some detail. The PPPs build on the experience of the German dual system of vocational education and encompass the changing focus of donor support as articulated, for example, in the Paris Declaration, to emphasise the need to support the policies of partner countries. The most interesting aspect of the approach is the way in which it combines an educational paradigm and an economic or pro-poor paradigm with the intention of ensuring that traditionally marginalized groupings are able to earn a reasonable income, contribute to economic growth and social cohesion.

Creating an enabling environment for for private sector development in Sub-Saharan Africa
http://www2.gtz.de/wbf/doc/07-89144_Ebook1.pdf
This report discusses how the business environment in Sub-Saharan African can be improved in order to foster enterprise development. Past efforts to boost private sector development have shown disappointing results. This holds especially for the orthodox structural adjustment programmes of the 1980s and 90s. But also the wide array of support schemes by governments and donors aimed to strengthen specific industries, groups of enterprises, or supporting institutions have rarely had a significant impact. Although a few remarkable project successes exist, these mostly remain isolated events with no country-wide outreach and no measurable effect on aggregate economic growth.

This study provides an analytical framework to compare the different approaches, making their underlying assumptions explicit and proposing a terminology to distinguish different notions of the ‘business enabling environment’. It shows that the Doing Business agenda is embedded in a neoclassical framework assuming that markets work reasonably well if property rights and competition are guaranteed. The agenda thus advocates minimal regulatory government intervention and a very limited role for supporting particular economic actors. Especially important for Sub-Saharan Africa, it presupposes a significant growth potential even for informal micro enterprises if unfair regulations are abolished. This is in marked contrast to neo-structuralist positions that emphasize market failure and the need for corrective policies, especially to enhance competitive advantages and to support disadvantaged groups.

Field Manual: Supporting Microfinance through Grants in Post-Crisis Settings
http://www.microfinancegateway.com/files/44668_file_Field_Guide_FINAL.pdf
This DAI field manual offers guidance to small grant program managers on supporting microfinance institutions (MFIs1) in countries recovering from conflict or natural disaster through small, shortterm grants.2 These guidelines will help practitioners – particularly those with limited experience in financial services – (i) determine if investment in microfinance is appropriate given a number of environmental and institutional factors, and (ii) outline options for supporting MFIs in postcrisis environments through grants and other forms of technical assistance.

Regulating Transformational Branchless Banking: Mobile Phones and Other
http://www.microfinancegateway.com/files/46734_file_FocusNote_43.pdf
This CGAP paper recommends a regulation to help in the advancement of branchless banking. The note is based on research in seven countries from Asia, Africa, Central Asia, Europe and Latin America.

Protecting the poor: A microinsurance compendium
http://tinyurl.com/6djkvf

This authoritative IKO compendium brings together the latest thinking of leading academics, actuaries, and insurance and development professionals in the microinsurance field. The result is a practical, wide-ranging resource which provides the most thorough overview of the subject to date. The book allows readers to benefit from the valuable lessons learned from a project launched by the CGAP Working Group on Microinsurance analysing operations around the world. It also discusses the various institutional arrangements available for delivery such as the community-based approach, insurance companies owned by networks of savings and credit cooperatives and microfinance institutions. The roles of key stakeholders are also explored and the book offers insightful strategies for achieving the right balance between coverage, costs and price.

Microfinance and Disaster Management
Stuart Mathison / The Foundation for Development Cooperation (FDC)
2007 / Global, –
”This paper enunciates policies and strategies to help MFIs prepare for the impact of natural disasters. MFIs will be better placed to respond effectively when a disaster strikes if they has worked through the issues, designed policies and products, and negotiated collaboration with Disaster Management Agencies (DMAs), before disaster strikes rather than in the midst of it.”
http://tinyurl.com/5c9563

Microfinance in post-disaster and post-conflict situations: Turning victims into shareholders
Marek Hudon, Hans Dieter Seibel / Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB)
ttp://tinyurl.com/5c9563

The goal of this article is to study the role of member-owned institutions (MOIs) in the provisions of the reparations for victims of human rights abuses or reconstruction in post-conflict and post-disaster situations.

Data Download: 2007 CGAP Regional Funder Survey – Sub-Saharan Africa
http://cgap.org/portal/site/Portfolio/Apr2008Data/
In 2005, CGAP began surveying funders working in Africa to increase access to finance. In 2007, despite an expected slight decline in global official development assistance, CGAP’s survey found that sub-Saharan Africa still draws attention from funders and aid to increase access to finance continues to rise.

Doing Business: Women in Africa
http://www.doingbusiness.org/gender/womenentrepreneurs.aspx
This report from the World Bank profiles seven women entrepreneurs, describing reasons for their success, as well as some of the legal, regulatory, and practical obstacles they faced in expanding their business efforts. It also highlights reforms that can level the playing field for women and create better business environments that benefit both women and men. The report, the first in a series of regional studies, casts a spotlight on seven women entre- preneurs in Cameroon, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, and Uganda.

Market Development in Crisis-Affected Environments.

Emerging Lessons for Achieving Pro-Poor Economic Reconstruction
http://www.seepnetwork.org/files/5659_file_001_Market_Development_4.
This SEEP paper presents the background to market development and then the background to crisis environments. These chapters are included to ensure that market-development and relief practitioners have a common understanding of frameworks, terminology, and strategies. Chapter 3 presents the cases themselves in summary form, along with the methodology used for gathering information. Chapter 4 presents a proposed framework for carrying out market development in post-crisis settings. Chapter 5 identifies and discusses the key challenges and issues raised by the practitioners submitting the cases, and then presents lessons learned and recommendations emerging from the cases. The latter are summarized in chapter 6. More detail of the cases is presented in the annexes.

Aid to Fragile States: Do Donors Help or Hinder?
http://tinyurl.com/6jo7zu
The record of aid to fragile and poorly-performing states is the real test of aid effectiveness. Rich countries can justify aid to fragile states both through altruism and self-interest. But, with some exceptions, donors have appeared at the wrong times and with the wrong attitudes, even sometimes undermining development progress. State failure has dimensions of both will and capacity. Failure demands constructive engagement by donors, in some cases to save people in weak states from their leaders, and in all cases to save the states from circumstances which they cannot control. This UNU-Wider paper examines the aid relationship with respect to three weak countries: Burma, Rwanda, Zambia.

Women, gender and the informal economy: An assessment of ILO research and suggested ways forward
http://tinyurl.com/5crzkm

This ILO discussion paper provides a review and analysis of the International Labour Office’s (ILO) research on women, gender and the informal economy. In particular, it compares and contrasts analytical and methodological frameworks used in various studies; identifies research gaps and directions for future research; and pulls out key findings that may assist concerned ILO units in taking action and formulating policy directions.

Financial Arrangements in Informal Apprenticeships: Determinants and Effects
Findings from Urban Ghana
http://www.ilo.org/public/english/employment/finance/download/wp49.pdf
This ILO paper uses quantitative and qualitative data collected through a survey among entrepreneurs and apprentices in micro and small enterprises in Accra, Ghana, to analyse the financial arrangements in informal apprenticeships. It discusses the relationship between the financing of apprenticeships and the financing of enterprises in which the training takes place. It also examines the way apprentices finance apprenticeship training. The findings suggest that masters commonly charge fees for the training, either at the beginning (commitment fees) and or at the end (graduation fee) of the training. The payment of an allowance to the apprentices (chop money) is a widespread practice. Even if the amount of this allowance in the majority of cases exceeds the amount of fees paid for the training, it would appear that the financing costs of the apprenticeship (fees and living expenses) restrict poor youth from entering and completing an apprenticeship. Finally, the paper presents potential entry points for microfinance institutions to support and improve the quantity and quality of apprenticeship training and ensure its positive contribution to youth employment.

Trade in the WAEMU: Developments and Reform Opportunities
http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/wp/2008/wp0868.
This IMF paper provides an overview of trade reform in the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) since 1996 and a quantitative assessment of potential effects on trade patterns and tariff revenue of the current reform agenda. Despite evidence of significant trade complementarities within WAEMU, implementation of the union’s current trade regime still suffers from persistent non-tariff barriers and administrative weaknesses. Based on an assessment of prospects for further trade integration, the paper also recommends strengthening the implementation of the present tariff union and supports the plan to extend it to all ECOWAS members. Finally, the paper stresses that an Economic Partnership Agreement with the EU could bring to the region the political momentum needed to address the weaknesses of the current trade regime, while also underlining the corresponding challenges in terms of trade diversion and tariff revenue losses.

Regional Economic Outlook: Sub-Saharan Africa
http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/reo/2008/AFR/eng/sreo0408.pdf
The region’s prospects continue to be promising, but global developments pose increased risks to the outlook. Growth in sub-Saharan Africa should again average about 6½ percent in 2008 with oil exporters leading the way; meanwhile, growth in oil importers is expected to taper off, though only modestly. With food and energy prices still rising, inflation is projected to average about 8½ percent this year for countries in the region, setting aside Zimbabwe. Risks in 2008 are tilted to the downside, but the region is better placed today to withstand a worsening of the global environment.

Value Chain Activities for Conflict-affected Populations in Guinea
http://www.microlinks.org/ev01.php?ID=22554_201&ID2=DO_
This report is part of a USAID-funded research project using guided case studies to explore whether and under what conditions the application of a value chain approach can help accelerate growth in conflict-affected environments. This study uses the value chain framework to look at an integrated community development initiative called ”Social and Economic Recovery through Community Development Initiatives” (SER-CD).

The Role of Mass Media in Local and Regional Economic Development
http://www2.gtz.de/wbf/doc/Mass_Media_in_LRED.pdf

This paper has been prepared by GTZ’s Employment-oriented Private Sector Development Programme (EoPSD) in Abuja Nigeria as a result of work that it has embarked on in media development and local economic development. This work has built on similar work in other parts of Africa and focuses on developing radio programmes on business and local economic issues. EoPSD has supported the launch of two local programmes focused on the local economic issues of two northern states in Nigeria (Nasarawa and Niger States) and is in the process of supporting a third station to develop business programming. This has provided EoPSD with a working insight into the potential role of mass media in supporting local economic development initiatives.

Local Economic Development Strategic Planning and Practice Casebook
http://tinyurl.com/6n25wc
As a practical product of the World Bank program, this LED Strategic Planning and Practice Casebook seeks to help the reader understand municipal approaches to LED strategic planning by identifying good practice in strategic planning methodology. The Casebook serves as a collection of six local economic development strategies that provide examples of good practice from across Europe and from the Cities of Change network. The Casebook also contains good practice notes and comments.

Social and Ecological Market Economy Principles in German Development Policy
http://www.bmz.de/en/service/infothek/fach/konzepte/konzept158.pdf
The guiding principles for the design of German Development cooperation are as follows:

  1. Supporting the rule of law
  2. Striving for broad-based growth
  3. Strengthening the private sector
  4. Improving conditions for the market economy
  5. Making an economy viable for the future
  6. Creating a social partnership
  7. Shaping the economy based on ecological concerns
  8. Ensuring equal opportunities

Are Estimates of Poverty in Latin America Reliable?

http://www.undp-povertycentre.org/pub/IPCOnePager52.pdf
This One Pager questions the validity of the ‘one-dollar-a-day’ and ‘two-dollars-a-day’ measurements of poverty in Latin America. Alternatively, the author argues, there are other methods that better capture the state of poverty.

The Vast Majority Income (VMI): A New Measure of Global Inequality
http://www.undp-povertycentre.org/pub/IPCPolicyResearchBrief7.pdf
The UNDP authors Anwar Shaikh and Amr Ragab introduce a new worldwide measure of welfare, which they call the Vast Majority Income (VMI). The VMI directly calculates the per capita income of the first 80 per cent of the population. It combines information on income levels and their distribution into a single measure.

Migration restrictions and the ‘brain drain’: The wrong response to an ill-defined problem.
http://www.odi.org.uk/publications/opinions/98_migration_apr08.pdf
Is restricting migration an effective response to personnel shortages in the developing world? And is the fear of a brain drain really justified? ODI Paper.


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Websites of the Month June 2008

Africa Progress Panel
http://www.africaprogresspanel.org
The aim of the Africa Progress Panel is to focus world leaders’ attention on making the most of the growing number of opportunities for progress in Africa. It will also comment on the challenges African governments, the G8 and other international partners face in meeting the commitments made towards Africa’s development.

AGEG Consultants eG
http://www.ageg.de
AGEG is a consulting company operating worldwide with over 20 years of experience in international development cooperation. AGEG Consultants eG is a registered cooperative since 1989 and relies on the experience and expertise of its shareholders. AGEG shareholders not only fulfil important corporate functions within the cooperative but are also active as consultants in the field. Their Website was redesigned completely. Individual consultants are invited to register.

Business for the Environment B4E
http://www.b4esummit.com
B4E, the Global Business Summit for the Environment, is the leading international conference focusing on business and the environment. B4E 2008 will highlight the most urgent environmental challenges facing the world today and discuss business-driven solutions for mitigating and adapting to climate change. Important topics addressed will include resource efficiencies, renewable energies, new business models and climate strategies. Delegates will learn best practices for identifying and managing the risks posed by climate change and uncover opportunities for developing competitive advantages.

Centre for technology, innovation and culture TIK – University of Oslo
http://www.tik.uio.no/english/
The Centre studies production and dissemination of knowledge – broadly defined as the development of and interaction between science and technology, innovation and entrepreneurship – through inter-disciplinary linkages between the social sciences and the humanities.

Changemakers – open sourcing social solutions™
http://www.changemakers.net
Changemakers is an initiative of Ashoka: Innovators for the Public that focuses on the rapidly growing world of social innovation. It provides solutions and resources needed to help everyone become a changemaker and presents compelling stories that explore the fundamental principles of successful social innovation around the world.

CLIMATE-L.ORG
http://www.climate-l.org
This is a knowledge management project for international negotiations and related activities on climate change run by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD).

Countdown 2010
http://www.countdown2010.net
A powerful network of active partners working together towards the 2010 biodiversity target. As a partner, AGEG Consultants support projects and programmes towards biodiversity conservation and improvement of local livelihoods world-wide in collaboration with other partners (e.g. GTZ, KfW, WWF). AGEG also provides expertise and collaborates with local NGOs in voluntary conservation initiatives in Germany with specific attention to forest biological diversity.

Creating Sustainable Enterprise
http://www.impact-dtg.com
Impact are global leaders in sustainable business transformation and people development. Our learning journeys and training solutions inspire new thinking and generate the meaningful dialogue needed to create and develop sustainable enterprise. Impact help people work more effectively together. As experts in behavioural change and leadership development, we work with organisations on their journey to becoming a sustainable enterprise.

Development: Making it happen
http://www.dfid.gov.uk/achievements/2008/index.html
As DFID publishes the Annual Report for 2008, here are some examples of the ways in which the Department for International Development is working to help eliminate world poverty.

Find a Job in Africa
http://www.findajobinafrica.com
Africa’s employment zone connecting employers, recruitment agencies and jobseekers. The website was founded in 1999 by Africans on the conviction that African’s problems must be owned by Africans with the solution driven by African’s. One of the challenges was poor/lack of job opportunities to Africans as a result many the vast array of job opportunities were not readily available to African’s based inside and outside Africa.

Foreign Information by Country
http://ucblibraries.colorado.edu/govpubs/for/foreigngovt.htm
Resource Guide by the University Libraries of Colorado at Boulder Wordmark, USA

Forum Finances et Développement
http://esf.asso.fr/portail/
Un portail francophone dédié au financement du développement.

Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System
http://www.gdacs.org
The GDACS provides near real-time alerts about natural disasters around the world and tools to facilitate response coordination, including media monitoring, map catalogues and Virtual On-Site Operations Coordination Centre.

IRIS
http://www.iris.umd.edu
IRIS is a research and advisory center located in the Department of Economics at the University of Maryland, College Park, USA. It works understand and facilitate economic growth and democratic development in poor and transition countries, focusing on the role of institutions — the formal and informal rules by which individuals organize economic, political, and social activity.

The EC Magazine of Enterprise Policy
http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/e_i/index_en.htm
The new Enterprise & Industry on-line magazine will provide regular updates on policy development, on legislative proposals and their passage to adoption, and on the implementation and review of regulation affecting enterprises. Articles will cover issues related to SMEs, innovation, entrepreneurship, the single market for goods, competitiveness and environmental protection, better regulation, industrial policies across a wide range of sectors, and more.

SEPT: Small enterprise promotion + training
http://www.sept.uni-leipzig.de
The Small Enterprise Promotion Network (SEPneT) is an alumni network of more than 200 experts from over 70 countries specialized in SME issues. All members have studied in Germany.

The Imp-Act Consortium
http://www2.ids.ac.uk/impact/
The Imp-Act Consortium is global group of organisations working to promote and support the management of social performance by MFIs. ”We are a catalyst for change in microfinance understanding and practice. By connecting practitioners around the world we demonstrate practical action and support each other in managing towards our social goals.”

The MicroInsurance Centre
http://www.microinsurancecentre.org
This site is intended to provide practical tools to assist in the success of these relationships between regulated insurers, and MFOs and banks. It is focused on a partnership model of microinsurance provision.

The Virtual Library on Microcredit
http://www.gdrc.org/icm/
Repository of information on alternative, non-conventional financial systems and microfinance/microcredit issues.

Virtual communities & fair tourism against poverty
http://conectafrica.wordpress.com
This Online PhD investigation on Fair Tourism really goes for tourism development in Africa, using Web 2.0 technology. It is in Spanish language.

Visit our Sponsor: Rucksackshop
http://tinyurl.com/5qx8an
Bags, Rucksacks, travel & outdoor stuff. High quality – low prices – since 1991. Delivered world-wide by Lothar Erdmann from Doebeln, Germany.

Weitzenegger’s Currency Cheat Sheet
http://www.oanda.com/convert/cheatsheet?user=Weitzenegger
Keep your travel budget under control by knowing exact values in your home currency. This Traveller CheatSheet displays a handy list of conversion units from one currency to another and is designed to be printed out and carried while travelling. Choose daily Interbank rate or typical rates for credit card or cash.

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Publications

A Billion to Gain?
http://tinyurl.com/68lmym
The reports of ING Microfinance Support systematically chart large global financial institutions’ activities and future plans in microfinance. This third edition in the ‘A Billion to Gain?’ series provides an update of the latest report and serves three main objectives: To update global financial institutions’ activities and future plans regarding microfinance; to discover recent major developments and trends in global financial institutions’ involvement in the microfinance sector; and to reveal the impact of global banks’ involvement in the development of the microfinance sector.

An Investigation of the Competitiveness Hypothesis of the Resource Curse
http://biblio.iss.nl/opac/uploads/wp/wp455.pdf
Institute of Social Studies (ISS), Working Paper no. 455, Author: L. Serino

CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement : An Overview
http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2008/april/tradoc_138569.pdf

Information paper by DG Trade, European Commission, gives an overview of the content of the agreement, outlining the provisions with respect to various subject areas.

CGAP Good Practice Guidelines for Funders
http://tinyurl.com/5euxvx
Good Practice Guidelines for Funders of Microfinance provides operational guidance for staff of donors and investors in the field and at headquarters who conceptualize, design, implement, and monitor programs related to improving poor people’s access to financial services.

Clusters, Functional Regions and Cluster Policies
http://www.insme.info/documenti/Cluster&Cluster_Policies.pdf
This INSME paper by Charlie Karlssongives an overview of research on economic clusters and clustering and is motivated by the growing intellectual and political interest for the subject. Functional regions have the features that agglomeration of economic activities i.e. clusters, benefit from. Functional regions have low intra-regional transaction and transportation cost and has access to the local labour market. The features of spatial economic concentration were for a long time disregarded. The scientific interests of cluster and clustering phenomenon have after the ”new” introduction rapidly increased in the last decade. Hence, the subject is being thought at various education levels. The importance of cluster and clustering has also been recognized at a national, regional and local level and cluster policies are becoming a major part of political thinking. These policies are however often based on a scarce analysis where no strict criterions are statet.

Country-Level Savings Assessment Tool

http://www.microfinancegateway.org/files/45915_file_CLSA_Tool.pdf
CGAP produced this Draft Country-Level Savings Assessment (CLSA) Tool to help guide analysts and researchers who wish to undertake CLSAs and to guide governments and donors who wish to commission CLSAs. It explains the areas of analysis covered, the methodology, and how it can be tailored to the needs of the agency commissioning the CLSA. This draft tool is a work in progress.”

Delivering Microfinance and Social Services in Conditions of Fragility in Nepal
http://www.microlinks.org/ev_en.php?ID=19700_201&ID2=DO_TOPIC
USAid, Field Report no 3. Natural disasters, civil conflicts and the HIV/AIDS pandemic are forcing an increasing number of people to live in conditions of fragility, complicating the delivery of basic public services. Despite the obstacles posed by these fragile conditions, relief and development organizations as well as national governments have been able to increase their outreach to affected populations by developing new approaches and strategies. This case study documents the strategies used by microfinance institutions (MFI), non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and private businesses to deliver financial and non-financial goods and services (e.g., business development services; health and education services; basic consumer goods; sanitation services) to populations affected by the Maoist insurgency in Nepal.

Developing women’s entrepreneurship
http://www.unescap.org/icstd/pubs/st_escap_2468.pdf

This UN document explores the potential for women in entrepreneurship and e-business in the niche area of green or ”organic” cooperatives. It seeks to promote women’s entrepreneurship and e-business development by providing policymakers and entrepreneurs with background on this niche area, potential entrepreneurship and e-business development opportunities, and a discussion of its implications for rural development.

Développement Economique Local et Régional
http://www2.gtz.de/wbf/doc/LRED_framework_fr.pdf
Ce manuel de la GTZ des praticiens du LRED est basé sur l’expérience récente de la GTZ dans l’appui au Développement Économique Local et Régional (LRED) en Afrique du Sud.

Explaining Success and Failure in Development
http://www.merit.unu.edu/publications/wppdf/2008/wp2008-013.pdf
United Nations University (UNU-MERIT), Working Paper No. 13, Author: A. Szirmai

Financial literacy – a comparative study in selected countries

http://www.sparkassenstiftung.de/uploads/media/Financial_Literacy_Study.pdf
Financial literacy is not only an issue for industrialised nations; it is even more important for developing and transformation countries. When combined with other measures of development cooperation, financial literacy can essentially contribute to combating poverty. By Sparkassenstiftung für internationale Kooperation, Bonn, Germany.

Geographical Distribution of Financial Flows to Developing Countries
http://www.oecdbookshop.org/oecd/display.asp?sf1=identifiers&st1=432008073P1
Disbursements, Commitments, Country Indicators, 2002-2006: 2008 Edition

German BMZ: Development Partnerships with the private sector
http://tinyurl.com/5mowgd
The creation of global development partner-ships is one of the eight UN Millennium Development Goals. Our PPP programme is one way we contribute to the achievement of this goal. In this programme we join together with partners from the private sector to seek – and often to find! – sustainable solutions for the development policy challenges facing our part-ner countries. In 2006, nearly 400 new partnerships were formed.

Global employment trends for women
http://tinyurl.com/5mowgd
The ILO report shows clearly that most regions are making progress in increasing the number of women in decent employment, but that full gender equality in terms of labour market access and conditions of employment has not yet been attained.

Individual Entrepreneurship Capacity and Performance of SMEs
http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/8179/1/MPRA_paper_8179.pdf
This paper analyses the importance of human capital and organizational capital on the determination of SME’s performance, by proposing and testing a conceptual model about Individual Entrepreneurship Capacity, and its impact both on non-economic and economic performance.

Innovation and Export of Vietnam’s SME Sector
http://tinyurl.com/6x59sx
In this paper, the authors investigate how the firms’ export behavior depends on their innovation activities, or whether the more innovative firms are more likely to export. The authors find that innovation as measured directly by ‘new products’, ‘new production process’ and ‘improvement of existing products’ are important determinants of exports by Vietnamese SMEs.

Local Economic Development Strategic Planning and Practice Casebook
http://tinyurl.com/6n25wc
In 1999 World Bank and Bertelsmann Foundation started a Cities of Change program in Central and Eastern Europe, the Baltics and Balkans to reduce unemployment and poverty. As a result the local economic development cluster emerged. The Cities of Change program aimed to help the LED cluster cities to design and implement their own LED strategies. A core task of the program was to develop practical knowledge products that could be used by municipal governments and communities to understand, design and implement integrated LED strategic planning. As a practical product of the program, this LED Strategic Planning and Practice Casebook seeks to help the reader understand municipal approaches to LED strategic planning by identifying good practice in strategic planning methodology. The Casebook serves as a collection of six local economic development strategies that provide examples of good practice from across Europe and from the Cities of Change network. The Casebook also contains good practice notes and comments.

Mobile Banking: DFID Knowledge map & possible donor support strategies
http://tinyurl.com/5p24xc
Mobile banking (m-banking) involves the use of a mobile phone or another mobile device to undertake financial transactions linked to a client’s account. M-banking is one of the newest approaches to the provision of financial services through ICT, made possible by the widespread adoption of mobile phones even in low income countries. The roll out of mobile telephony has been rapid, and has extended access well beyond already connected customers in developing countries. There is mounting evidence of positive social impact on poorer people and communities as a result. There are sound reasons for the hope that m-banking could have similar impact.

Moving Toward Competitiveness: A Value-Chain Approach
http://tinyurl.com/6keu8z

A strong business environment based on sound institutions and policies is a necessary basis for enhanced competitiveness of private firms that produce and deliver goods and services. When business environment constraints—inefficiencies and cost disadvantages—can be identified, policy makers have the opportunity to jumpstart economic reform processes that target priority areas along the product/service life cycle known as the value chain. This technical report outlines a pragmatic approach for analyzing value chain performance as the basis for identifying binding constraints to growth and competitiveness. This approach is intended to facilitate formulating a targeted reform agenda. The World Bank Group (WBG) uses a myriad of policy tools to support its ongoing private sector development work.

OECD Competition Assessment Toolkit
http://tinyurl.com/5glxzk
Governments can reduce unnecessary restrictions by considering the use of methods in the OECD’s new ”Competition Assessment Toolkit”. The Toolkit provides a general methodology for identifying unnecessary restraints and developing alternative, less restrictive policies that still achieve government objectives. One of the main elements of the Toolkit is a Competition Checklist that asks a series of simple questions to screen for laws and regulations that have the potential to unnecessarily restrain competition. The Toolkit is available in: Chinese, English, French, Hungarian, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Turkish.

Organisational learning for aid, and learning aid organisations
http://www.capacity.org/en/content/view/full/219/(issue)/15869
Although many aid agencies claim to be learning organisations, a recent review found that they still need to address some major challenges, especially at field level. Ben Ramalingam asks why this is the case, and what aid agencies can do to learn more effectively.

Publication: The strategic partnership between the European Union, Latin America and the Caribbean: a joint commitment

http://ec.europa.eu/external_relations/library/publications/lima_en.pdf
This brochure sets out the framework of the strategic partnership, presenting the background and the most recent developments. The chapters are divided by theme and geographical entity, focusing on the most important elements of the partnership and its evolution. They illustrate the political, trade and cooperation re lations between the EU and each subregion.

Raw Deal: Europe’s damaging corporate trade agenda – impacts and new threats
http://www.wdm.org.uk/rawdeal – English
http://www.wdm.org.uk/desaccordsinjuste – Francais
http://www.wdm.org.uk/tratoinjusto – Espanol

This new Third World Network report presents evidence from existing European trade deals with South Africa and Mexico showing how they have hindered rather than helped development. Looking at examples in agriculture, industrial products and services, the report shows how the reality of these bilateral deals is far removed from the ‘win-win’ rhetoric.

Removing Barriers to SME Access to International Markets:
http://www.oecdbookshop.org/oecd/display.asp?sf1=identifiers&st1=852008021P1
This book sheds light on facilitating SME internationalisation and also presents a synthesis of the Conference discussions and the main outcome of the Conference: the ”Athens Action Plan for Removing Barriers to SME Access to International Markets”.

Social innovation: Good for you, good for me
http://www.wbcsd.org/includes/getTarget.asp?type=DocDet&id=Mjk1MTI
Big firms are joining the queue to follow in Muhammad Yunus’s footsteps by developing businesses designed to fix social ills.

Supporting pro-poor growth processes: Implications for donors

http://tinyurl.com/5jjj6c
Eva Ludi and Kate Bird of Overseas Development Institute discuss policies and programmes to strengthen the productive capacities of poor people.

The new EPAs: comparative ananlysis of their content and the challenges for 2008
http://www.eldis.org/cf/rdr/?doc=36293
This report, prepared by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) and the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM) addresses questions around national level impacts of interim EPAs, individual level agreements in relation to future regional integration initiatives and details of agreed opt out options and time schedules. It also examines how far the agreed texts are similar to each other and how development friendly are they?

Turning the Tables: Aid and accountability under the Paris framework
http://www.eurodad.org/whatsnew/reports.aspx?id=2166
A major new civil society report has been launched which reveals that the world’s rich countries have only made patchy progress in making aid more effective for helping the poor, despite high-profile commitments to reform aid.

UNRISD: Poverty and Inequality in China

http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/toc/rode/12/2
A special of the Journal ”Review of Development Economics” includes papers emerging from UNU-WIDER’s 2004/2005 research project on poverty and inequality in China and is free online.

Vocational education and training in Germany
http://tinyurl.com/5mowgd
This Cedfop overview of vocational education and training in Germany has been produced to mark Germany’s Presidency of the Council of the EU. It forms part of the series of short descriptions regularly published by Cedefop on national VET systems.

What Makes an Entrepreneur?
http://www.doingbusiness.org/documents/What_Makes_an_Entrepreneur.pdf
The World Bank authors tests two competing hypotheses on what makes an entrepreneur: nature – attitude towards risk, I.Q., and self-confidence; or nurture – family background and social networks. The results are based on data from a new survey on entrepreneurship in Brazil, of 400 entrepreneurs and 540 non-entrepreneurs of the same age, gender, education and location in 7 Brazilian cities. We find that family characteristics have the strongest influence on becoming an entrepreneur. In contrast, success as an entrepreneur is primarily determined by the individual’s smartness and higher education in the family. Entrepreneurs are not more self-confident than non-entrepreneurs; and overconfidence is bad for business success.

World Bank Research Highlights 2007
http://econ.worldbank.org/research/highlights2007. This is the annual report of the World Bank’s principal research unit, the Development Research Group (DECRG). The report describes the major research themes and highlights of 2007 for DECRG’s six research teams: Finance and Private Sector Development; Human Development and Public Services; Macroeconomics and Growth; Poverty and Inequality; Sustainable Rural and Urban Development; and Trade and International Integration. The on-line version also provides a complete list of the unit’s published output in 2007, comprising 25 books, 175 journal articles, 90 book chapters, 180 working papers, and 12 new public-access datasets.

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Websites of the Month

>(loband)-
http://www.loband.org
loband is a service that simplifies web pages, in order to make them download faster over slow Internet connections. The simplified page viewed through loband will contain the same text information as the original. The formatting of the simplified page will be as similar to the original as possible, with colours and images removed. On certain pages you may find that things have moved around to some degree.

Association for International Agriculture and Rural Development (AIARD)

http://aiard.org
The Association for International Agriculture and Rural Development (AIARD) is an association of professionals and practitioners in international development with experience and intellectual and institutional capabilities to articulate and address broad-based as well as more focused development issues in agriculture and rural development.

Banking With The Poor Network
http://www.bwtp.org
The Banking With The Poor Network is a network of some 30 national policy institutions, commercial banks and NGO’s from nine countries in Asia – namely Australia, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand. The BWTP objective is to link microfinance with the financial system and to support the provision of inclusive financial services in Asia. It pursues this objective through capacity building, information sharing, policy dialogue, advocacy and research.

Business Fights Poverty
http://businessfightspoverty.ning.com
From the team behind Business Action for Africa and Mentori, Business Fights Poverty is a professional network for all those passionate about fighting world poverty through the power of good business. I joined this recently and will invite you personally.

DB Classifieds: Vacancies, Training, Materials, and Events

http://www.comminit.com/en/node/263664#TME
DB Classifieds includes information relevant and helpful to people and organisations involved in international development. As part of the Classifieds service, organisations can now post training and events related to international development in the Classifieds section of the CI website as well as within the DB Classifieds – TME.
DB Classifieds will often include material for which organisations have paid for placement.

EASYPol is an FAO on-line
http://www.fao.org/easypol/output/
Interactive multilingual repository of downloadable resource materials for capacity development in policy making for food, agriculture and rural development. EASYPol is maintained by the FAO Agricultural Policy Support Service.

Eldis Community
http://community.eldis.org

The Eldis Community is a free on-line community where you can meet others involved in international development, discuss issues that are important to you and share useful resources. Anyone with an interest in development issues can join the site free of charge.

eldis Ressource Guide: EU trade policy
http://www.eldis.org/go/topics/resource-guides/trade-policy/eu-trade-policy/
This Resource Guide provides easy structured access to our extensive collection of research and policy documents. All are editorially selected, summarised and available free to download in full text. Resource guides are intended to help you keep up to date with the latest in development research, policy and practice.

European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP)
http://www.microfinance-platform.eu
Sharing the vision that everyone on this globe has access to inclusive financial services, microfinance is a solution. e-MFP, as a multi-stakeholder and well connected European microfinance community, has the mission to promote innovative and inclusive financial sectors in developing countries.

Geneva Trade and Development Forum (GTDForum)
http://www.gtdforum.org

The GTDForum seeks to provide an enduring platform – and a novel experience – for reflection, innovation, debate and dialogue. It will address the specific challenges and opportunities of developing countries trying to reap the benefits and heal the wounds from globalization and trade liberalization. The Forum offers a much needed neutral environment away from the negotiating table for all stakeholders, where the needs and interests of the poorer countries and the use of trade as a development tool will be at the centre of discussions.

Humanitarian Practice Network (HPN)
http://www.odihpn.org
HPN is an independent forum for humanitarians to share and disseminate information, analysis and experience. It has specialist resources for practitioners and policy makers alike and facilitate debate through regular events and the Online Exchange discussion forum.

Improving the Business Enabling Environment, by IFC
http://www.ifc.org/bee
Here IFC collects, summarizes, and analyzes various data on the successes and failures of business environment reform efforts, and develop practical guides for designing and implementing these reforms. They are currently focusing on business registration, business licensing, business inspections, municipal simplification, corporate tax administration, export/import procedures, building the capacity of business membership organizations, and alternative dispute resolution.

Mentori – Share your business skills for a better world.
http://www.mentori.org

Mentori connects you online with people from developing countries who value your expertise. Its simple. You can volunteer anytime, anywhere, from any computer. Mentori offers the Diaspora the opportunity to do a ”virtual return” home.

MicroFinance Network (MFN)
http://www.mfnetwork.org
MFN is an international association of leading microfinance institutions. Through the MFN, 39 members from 31 countries share ideas, experiences, and innovative solutions to the challenges they face in search of continuous growth and progress. MFN members seek to be models of what is possible in the industry.

Poverty Action Lab, MIT
http://www.povertyactionlab.org
The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) serves as a focal point for development and poverty research based on randomized trials. The objective is to improve the effectiveness of poverty programs by providing policy makers with clear scientific results that help shape successful policies to combat poverty.

Senegal: Inter-agency multifunctional platform programme (MFP)
http://www.ptfm.net

MFP has been recently launched in Senegal with the financial support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The MFP is a national / subregional programme based in Senegal. It aims to bring energy to the poorest rural areas and thus contributes to poverty alleviation and increasing the quality of life. A village enterprise – the Multifunctional-Platform: more time and more income for rural women and higher levels of schooling for girls. Using a simple diesel engine, rural people, particularly women, can now have access to affordable, simple and modern energy services. This improved access saves time and effort that can be devoted to income-generating activities, education, health and childcare.

The Gurteen Knowledge Website
http://www.gurteen.com
David Gurteen hosts on his personal website the Gurteen Knowledge Community, a global learning community of over 15,000 people in 154 countries. The main themes of the site are knowledge management, learning, creativity, innovation and personal development. Everything on this site is open and you do not need to be a member to access any part of it or to subscribe to any of the services provided. However, you will want to come back often and be part of it.

The Right to Food Virtual Library
http://www.fao.org/righttofood/kc/library_en.htm
This Library is a unique repository of information on the Human Right to Adequate Food and Freedom from Hunger. It provides catalogued documentation to assist the implementation of the Right to Food at national level. The aim of the Right to Food Virtual Library is to collect, maintain and provide a relevant, up-to-date, and outstanding collection of documents to fulfill the information needs of policy makers, practitioners, general public, civil society, NGOs, UN country teams, media and the academia, working toward the realization of the Right to Food. The Virtual Library is also available on CD and free of charge.

Theoretical Economics
http://www.econtheory.org

Theoretical Economics aims to become the leading journal in economic theory. It differs from existing journals in one major respect: all content is freely available

VISION Era-Net Portal for Innovation Policy Publications
This portal is a unique collection of publications related to innovation policy. The Innovation Policy Portal provides a valuable source and unique of information for both practitioners and researchers alike. The database consists of over 50 research reports, white papers, and policy documents from the world-leading researchers on the most advanced countries in the innovation policy.
http://www.visioneranet.org/?84_m=222&s=10

Wikigender
http://www.wikigender.org
On the occasion of International Women’s Day, the OECD Development Centre launched this new interactive website to share and exchange information on gender equality issues.

Wikinomics

http://www.wikinomics.com
Today, encyclopedias, jetliners, operating systems, mutual funds, and many other items are being created by teams numbering in the thousands or even millions. While some leaders fear the heaving growth of these massive online communities, Wikinomics explains how to prosper in a world where new communications technologies are democratizing the creation of value. Anyone who wants to understand the major forces revolutionizing business today should consider Wikinomics their survival kit.

World Bank Knowledge Resources: Financial & Private Sector Development
http://rru.worldbank.org
Rapid Response is the World Bank Group’s knowledge hub on financial and private sector development in developing countries. This site offers best practice public policy advice for private sector led growth and financial market development in developing countries. Find expert analysis, powerful databases, quick solutions, and comprehensive ”how-to” guides.

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Google.org names TechnoServe a Strategic Partner in International Development

Google.org has also awarded TechnoServe a new multi-year grant of $3 million to expand the organization’s private-sector development efforts. The focus of the strategic partnership is to spur the growth of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which are vital to ending the cycle of poverty in developing countries. SMEs create the bulk of new ideas and jobs in most developed economies, but they are scarce in other parts of the world, mainly due to a lack of access to business training and capital. ”Small and medium enterprises are a powerful engine of growth, jobs and opportunities,” says Google.org manager Rachel Payne. ”We have chosen TechnoServe as a strategic partner because of the organization’s long track record of working with entrepreneurial people to give them the tools, training and access to capital that they need to create viable businesses.” http://www.technoserve.org/press_room/googlegrant.aspx

TechnoServe has launched a nonprofit channel on YouTube that will feature some of the entrepreneurs participating in our business plan competitions, as well as other videos highlighting TechnoServe’s impact in various sectors and countries around the world. The channel launches with seven entrepreneur profiles from TechnoServe’s Believe Begin Become national business plan competition in Tanzania. http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=BelieveBeginBecome

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EC Vice President Verheugen launches Enterprise Europe Network

European Commission Vice President Gunter Verheugen launched Enterprise Europe Network, a new and powerful European support network for enterprises. All major players of the business support community in Europe have united to offer a one-stop service to assist especially small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to develop their full potential and innovative capacity. With more than 500 contact points and almost 4,000 experienced staff, Enterprise Europe Network is the largest network in Europe providing expertise and services for business. These are available to companies of all sizes irrespective of whether they are in manufacturing or services, although they are primarily directed at small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).
http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise-europe-network