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Entrepreneurship

Inspiration is everywhere for entrepreneurs

Lebogang Carolene Mmono's picture



Often times when entrepreneurs are asked what influenced them, they reflect on short term experiences. We hardly look for clues as far as our childhood to ascertain what, who and how we were inspired to set out into this courageous path of uncertainty instead of the predictable security of formal employment.

Challenges faced by women in entrepreneurship

Charlotte Horore Bebga's picture
Charlotte Horore Bebga, IT professional and entrepreneur, leads a coding workshop for children at the U.S. Embassy in Cameroon.


Sub-Saharan Africa is the only region in the world where women are more likely than men to be entrepreneurs, according to a new World Bank report. Women are thus key stakeholders in the economic development of the continent, which is replete with boundless opportunities. Although there are increasing numbers of women involved in and benefiting from these opportunities, they still face many different kinds of problems and restrictions. I myself have experienced this in my career as a female entrepreneur.

Networking: the key to growth for women entrepreneurs

Affiong Williams's picture
Photo: ReelFruit


“It takes a village to raise a business” is my rendition of the popular proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child.” As a woman who has been building a dried fruit processing and distribution business for the past seven years in Nigeria, nothing has accelerated its growth- financially and otherwise - more than my growing network. A robust network builds the social capital that can lead to greater collaboration and credibility, funding and emotional support for female entrepreneurs.

What’s new: In start-ups, SMEs, and sharing platforms?

Denis Medvedev's picture
Rifat, at her cosmetics shop and general store in Gujar Khan Town, World Bank Flickr
Entrepreneurship encompasses multiple dimensions, which is why it's always a pleasure to follow the meetings – both for the high quality of papers and discussions as well as for the breadth of topics. This year's winter workshop was no exception, with topics ranging from start-up job creation, to corporate structure in Imperial Russia, to negative externalities of ride-sharing platforms.

Here are a few highlights:

Marginal changes for the many or focusing on the few? Trade-offs in firm support policies and jobs

David McKenzie's picture

Should governments aiming to improve job opportunities devote additional resources towards trying to provide programs that attempt to generate marginal changes in many micro and small firms, or try to target the support towards making larger impacts on a smaller number of high-growth and larger firms? For example, should a government spend an additional $5 million on grants and training programs that support 25,000 micro firms at $200 each, use it to give 100 grants of $50,000 each to 100 high-growth potential firms, or use it as a single $5 million tax incentive to encourage one large multinational to set up a manufacturing plant in the country? I’ve been asked my thoughts on this question quite a few times, so thought I’d share them here.
 
The answer involves many different trade-offs and considerations, and I attempt to summarize some of the key ones in this post. The bottom line is that there are trade-offs (at least in the short-run) between poverty alleviation and productivity growth, and that different policies will have impacts on different types of job creation. A key lesson for policymakers is to be clear about what the job problem is that they are trying to solve, and not try to use the same policy instrument to achieve multiple competing priorities.

In Africa, technology and human capital go hand in hand

Sheila Jagannathan's picture
Photo:
Rwanda’s progress from the devastating civil war two decades ago to one of the most rapidly developing African countries is a remarkable narrative on development.

Twenty-four years ago, the country was torn apart by civil war and one of the worst genocides human history has known; one in which more than a million people were killed in only three months.

Now, with years of sustained economic growth—predicted to be around 6.5% this year, the country is well on the way to achieving many of the ambitious development goals set out in the Rwandan Government’s ‘Vision 2020.’ This strategy seeks to move away from agriculture and rely instead on services and knowledge as the new engines of economic growth, with the objective of achieving middle-income status in the near term.

I had the privilege of getting a snapshot view of Rwanda’s success during the few days I spent in the country last month attending , the continent’s largest conference on technology-assisted learning and training. The choice of Kigali as the location for this year’s conference is highly symbolic: Rwanda has put education and skills at the heart of its national strategy, and can send a powerful message to other African countries about the importance of investing in human capital to support overall development.

Lebanese youth are helping to bring tourism back to Tripoli

Chadi Nachabe's picture


Alaa Jundi, 27, from Tebbaneh outside Tripoli, Lebanon, didn’t have the chance to continue his education. But he loved the arts and had an ambition was of being an actor one day. After feeling hopeless that he had no opportunities, he took art classes that were part of a World Bank project to build his skills. “At first, I felt this was a dream, I was just participating to fill my time and practice my hobby.” But the skills he learned led him to opening an entertainment company with a colleague to host kids’ birthday parties and events.

Empowering MENA Youth through “the Cloud”

Safaa El-Kogali's picture
Tech and Youth in MENA - Ahed Izhiman

When I was your age “checking your mail” meant walking to the post office and collecting letters, “tweet” meant the chirping of a bird, and “cloud” meant rain! Today, we live in a very different world.

How can digital technology help transform Africa’s food system?

Simeon Ehui's picture
Also available in: Français 
Photo: Arne Hoel/World Bank
There’s no question that agriculture is critical to Africa’s biggest development goals. It is fundamental for poverty reduction, economic growth and environment sustainability. African food market continues to grow. It is estimated that African food markets will triple to US$1 trillion from its current US$300 billion value. Farming accounts for 60% of total employment in Sub-Saharan Africa—and food system jobs account for even more. In Ethiopia, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia, the food system is projected to add more jobs than the rest of the economy between 2010 and 2025.

And yet, Africa’s agriculture sector is facing serious challenges. Agricultural productivity in Africa lags behind other regions. One in four people in Sub-Saharan Africa are chronically undernourished. Africa’s food system is further strained by rapid population growth and climate change. The food security challenge will only grow as climate change intensifies, threatening crop and livestock production. If no adaptation occurs, production of maize—which is one of Africa’s staple crops—could decline by up to 40% by 2050. Clearly, business as usual approaches to agriculture in Africa aren’t fit for transforming the sector to meet its full potential.

. But how can digital technology help transform Africa’s food system?

It’s instructive to look at startups, which are an emerging force in Africa’s agriculture sector.

Stories of success: We-Fi’s Women Entrepreneurs Reporting Award

Priya Basu's picture
 
Amanda Burrell, Documentary Filmmaker. © World Bank
Amanda Burrell, documentary filmmaker, receiving the award. © 2018 One World Media Awards


 The program, led by the German government, led to the formation of a women’s cooperative that bids for commercial contracts in schools, mosques, and government agencies.
 
A produced for Al Jazeera showcases how these women are not only challenging stereotypes by thriving in the male-dominated profession of plumbing, but also implementing a range of water management techniques for their communities.
 
 Trained women receive toolboxes and funding for outreach to disseminate information within their community and reach at least 20-25 other women.
 
The film was just awarded the Women Entrepreneurs Journalism Award, sponsored by the , as part of the . The award covers broadcast, digital, film or print journalism that explores women’s entrepreneurship in developing countries. Reporting can showcase stories of successful female entrepreneurs, the challenges women face in trying to start or grow their businesses, and/or the critical role that women entrepreneurs play in economic development by boosting growth and creating jobs. 


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