New Initiative Will Identify Policy Measures to Promote Development and Entrepreneurship

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, September 22, 2010
USAID Press Office
202-712-4320

WASHINGTON, DC – USAID, Babson College, and the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) are embarking on a partnership to strengthen entrepreneurship in different countries around the world. This innovative new project will measure entrepreneurship rates and characteristics, as well as other factors influencing small and medium business growth in Egypt, Turkey, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Using this data, policymakers in these nations will be able to better recognize the type of environment necessary to promote the creation and growth of small businesses.

The partnership is inspired by President Obama's vision for Global Engagement as laid out in a historic speech in Cairo, Egypt in June, 2009. The Administration's approach features an emphasis on strengthening ties between the United States and countries with significant Muslim populations through partnerships in economic development, science and technology and other areas of opportunity based on mutual interests and mutual respect.

“Over the past 50 years, USAID has recognized that economic growth is vital to eradicate poverty and improve the well being of people around the world,” said Michael Yates, USAID’s senior deputy assistant administrator for the bureau of Economic Growth, Agriculture and Trade. “Entrepreneurs are the force behind a growing private economy, which leads to more opportunity and income, improved living conditions, and an enhanced connection to the global economy. This new partnership with Babson College will equip decision makers in many countries with additional intellectual tools to open the window of opportunity for more entrepreneurs.”

Academic GEM research teams in each of the target countries will survey at least 2,000 adults to assess the level of entrepreneurship and a range of other factors, such as attitudes, intentions, and demographics such as age, education level and gender of entrepreneurs. In addition, they will interview experts in finance, government policy, education and other areas about current practices supporting entrepreneurship. This will enable them to assess the level of entrepreneurship and current practices supporting this activity in these important countries.

Babson College is a co-founder of GEM, whose mission is to explain the link between economic development and entrepreneurship, and is the lead sponsoring institution for the research project.

“Babson has a significant institutional commitment to diffuse entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial educational models on a global scale. The GEM project will enable policymakers from participating countries to take the steps needed to stimulate entrepreneurial activity and to demonstrate real progress towards small business creation and job growth,” said Leonard A. Schlesinger, president of Babson College.

This is the second project that Babson has undertaken with the financial support of USAID -- the first was the development of the Institute of Business Administration’s Center for Entrepreneurship Excellence in Pakistan.

The GEM research project constitutes the most comprehensive study of entrepreneurship in the world as it combines the expertise of over 100 of the top entrepreneurship scholars in over 60 countries around the globe.

USAID is a U.S. government agency that provides economic, development and humanitarian assistance around the world in support of the foreign policy goals of the United States.

Babson College in Wellesley, Mass., is recognized internationally as a leader in entrepreneurial management education.

For more information about USAID's programs, please visit: usaid.gov. To read our blog, see blog.usaid.gov.

Last updated: December 02, 2014

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