Track 3: Challenging inclusiveness and environmental sustainability in entrepreneurship promotion ecosystems


Introduction Track 3: Challenging inclusiveness and environmental sustainability in entrepreneurship promotion

Speakers: ILO & GIZ

Build and match – Fostering B2B green tech investments in Africa

Speakers: Bernhard Rohkemper (GIZ) Cora Bay (GIZ) 

Moderator: Jens-Peter Hiller (GIZ), Stephan Daiber (GIZ)

SMEs providing solutions to environmental and development challenges need three things that are often lacking: market intelligence, access to finance and actual demand. Through a matchmaking approach, the digital platform connects SMEs to established business and finance partners and tackles all these challenges simultaneously. Currently running in Kenya and Nigeria (with more than 1,000 registered businesses in these countries), this multi-language digital platform has the potential for a global reach. Despite challenging security and Covid-related circumstances in both Kenya and Nigeria, eight green tech investment projects are currently under development and have garnered much interest from the local private and banking sectors as well as German and European green-tech providers. 

The WE-Check toolI improving service provision to women entrepreneurs

Speakers: Virginia Rose-Losada (ILO) Suleikha Ali Yusuf (Zamzam Foundation ) Charleine Mbuyi-Lusamba (African Development Bank) 

Moderator: Jens-Peter Hiller (GIZ), Stephan Daiber (GIZ)

There is a gap between women entrepreneurs’ needs and business development services available. Business development service providers (BDSPs) have an interest to better serve women entrepreneurs but do not know how to do so. The WE-Check tool was designed to help BDSPs in conducting a systematic self-assessment of the extent to which they target and serve women entrepreneurs. As a result, service providers adopt and implement a tailored action plan allowing them to become more gender sensitive and women entrepreneurs have access to the services they need. Organizations in several countries, including Algeria, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Ukraine, among others, have conducted the WE-Check and developed evidence-based action plans aiming to better reach and serve women entrepreneurs. This session will present the experience of Zamzam Foundation in Somalia).

Growth Orientation vs Inclusion, an inevitable trade off?

Speakers: Steve Anderson (University of Texas), Bilal Husnain Zia (World Bank), Marlen De la Chaux (ILO). 

Moderator: Jens-Peter Hiller (GIZ), Stephan Daiber (GIZ)

Entrepreneurship is often seen as a mean to activate the untapped potential of marginalized groups to contribute to economic development, job creation, and to their own well-being. However, the high mortality rates of new and existing business among these groups as well as the low-quality employment that they create seem to question the effective impact of “inclusive growth”. Other experiences have suggested that promising results can be achieved by selecting and incubating new firms with high-growth potential. Is there an inevitable trade-off between growth orientation and inclusion? This session will explore this question by presenting the results of three studies: i) two WB led studies presenting evidence how to boost the profit of selected small businesses in South Africa and support remote coaching on scalability for small firms in Uganda; and ii) ILO’s lessons learned on incubators, accelerators and similar organizations with the latest available evidence and a critical examination on the opportunities and risks associated with the promotion of incubators and accelerators in entrepreneurship ecosystems.


WINcubate: A Training to drive gender-equitable change in the incubation ecosystem in India

Speakers: Nidhi Arora (GIZ) 

Moderator: Fernando Martinez (ILO

Since 2019, GIZ’s project Her&Now has successfully piloted gender-sensitive entrepreneurship support programs in partnership with different implementation partners in multiple states of India such as the Northeast, Telangana, Rajasthan, Uttra Pradesh and Maharashtra. The WINcubate Training is currently piloted with around 25 incubators and more than 500 women have received comprehensive training on businesses competencies. Based on the best practices of these pilots, the WINcubate Training Program for incubators has been developed in collaboration with “Dhriiti – The Courage Within” with the objective to mainstream gender-sensitive practices in the entrepreneurship ecosystem. Through the training, incubators are equipped to adopt women-centric approaches in the design and pedagogy of their incubation programs, making them more inclusive and accessible.

Supporting green Jobs for youth in Kenya

Speakers: Anita Tiessen (Youth Business International) 

Moderator: Luisa Iachan (ILO)

Green entrepreneurship is increasingly being recognised as a viable economic pathway for the employment of young people and more for the promotion of more sustainable business models. However, green entrepreneurship can only happen at scale and with long-term sustainable outcomes with the necessary entrepreneurship support and guidance. Youth Business International (YBI) works to ensure that young people with a social or environmental mission at the heart of their business get the support that they need to grow and sustain that ambition. For that, it provides access to approaches, methodologies, tools and connections that social and green enterprises need. The audience will learn about innovative green initiatives run by YBI members in Kenya and discover the main challenges faced by Green and social entrepreneurs and what effective approaches, methodologies, tools and connections are needed to overcome these challenges.

Building pathways for inclusion in Agribusiness

Speakers: Nadja Nutz (ILO), Floortje Jacobs (Fresh Studio ─ Myanmar) 

Moderator: Moderator: Elisa Mandelli (ILO)

While there is consensus on the importance and untapped potential of the agribusiness sector to create more and better jobs for women youth, refugees and other marginalized groups, clear pathways on how projects can sustainably include these groups into agro-processing markets, and they can effectively benefits from the economic value creation. This session presents two piloted solutions to build pathways for inclusion in agribusiness. The first is a training tool on food processing that helps small entrepreneurship and entrepreneurs to better grasp the opportunities of emerging processing markets. It offers key principles of food processing for micro- and small entrepreneurs willing to start their small food processing business from their homes. The second is a project in Lebanon aiming at developing the horticulture value chain to increase productivity and income for Lebanese farmers while also improving working conditions for Syrian refugees. Results of the project piloted with 12 farmers demonstrated massive productivity gains and better working conditions.