A woman looks at clothes at a stall during the 2nd Asian Women Entrepreneurs Eid Festival 2005 in Dhaka, Bangladesh, December 10, 2005 (Rafiquar Rahman/Courtesy Reuters).
The role of a vibrant business community in promoting both economic development and durable democracy is widely acknowledged. But it is less clear how to foster a private sector that can serve as an engine of growth and participate constructively in the democratic process. The Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) works on just this question. One of the four “core grantees” of the National Endowment for Democracy, CIPE aims “to strengthen democracy around the globe through private enterprise and market-oriented reform.” The organization helps business associations and other private actors in developing countries with such challenges as improving laws and regulations, bolstering corporate governance, boosting entrepreneurship, and combating corruption. In addition, CIPE works to educate government officials, businesspeople, the media, and the public about “the freedoms, rights, and responsibilities essential to market-oriented democracies.”
Last week my colleague Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, deputy director of CFR’s Women and Foreign Policy Program, spoke at a conference hosted by CIPE in Washington. Here is Gayle’s readout of the conference and the trends in women’s entrepreneurship, a subject that is also the focus of her book, The Dressmaker of Khair Khana.
When it comes to entrepreneurship and the power of economics to change lives, women face both promising opportunities and daunting barriers. Both were in focus at a conference hosted last week by the Center for International Private Enterprise entitled, Democracy that Delivers for Women. Read more »