How can Chamber help in promoting entrepreneurship

December 2, 2011 | By More

Entrepreneurship Development is the buzz word these days. Most donor agencies in the developing countries are trying to promote entrepreneurship using tools that are either obsolete or not compatible with the environment and culture in a given country, culture or society.

A number of NGOs are thriving on the funding extended by donors and following the slogan of “Entrepreneurship Development”. Chambers and Associations being the most impactful civil society democratic organizations can play a vital role in promoting entrepreneurial culture in the country. The fact is that these are organizations run by business people and actually have the right acumen for promoting the cause.

Having said that, a large number of business associations, this is not a priority! Let’s analyze how business associations can facilitate the entrepreneurial culture in a country.

  1. Policy level intervention:
    Business associations can analyze the current policy and regulatory environment for business start-ups. Based on their research advice governments on reducing bottlenecks and red taps for start-up businesses.
  2. Mentorship:
    Aspiring entrepreneurs need handholding. Business Associations can find volunteers from their memberships who are willing to spare some time to talk to aspiring entrepreneurs and share knowledge and experience.
  3. Inclusion:
    Business associations can also keep a database of aspiring entrepreneurs and invite them at relevant networking events. This will help building networks with experienced entrepreneurs.
  4. University Linkages:
    Universities love to work business associations. These linkages offer excellent opportunities for business associations to find cost effective research resources and students get benefit of developing their business knowledge through working in pro-business environment.

If business associations could write formal projects focusing entrepreneurship development, I am sure donor agencies will prefer funding these projects. After all business associations are the only natural partners in developing entrepreneurial culture.

Contributed by Hammad Siddiqui, Deputy Country Director at Center for International Private Enterprise (an affiliate of the US Chamber)-Pakistan office.

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