Entrepreneurship Programme aims at linking existing public and private actors as well as existing support structures (e.g. start-up competitions, service providers) to facilitate the formation and potential growth of businesses. .
Major drivers for income and employment generation in any country, are entrepreneurial activities and a favourable economic environment for start-ups and businesses. Start-ups, however, are very vulnerable and survival rate in many developing and emerging markets can be as low as 10%.
In order to improve this situation, the initiated SECO Entrepreneurship Program in 6 selected countries (Peru, Vietnam, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina Macedonia and Serbia) addresses hindering factors for start-up creation, survival and growth. Those hindering factors include a lack of entrepreneurial education, lack of supporting mechanisms for start-ups, lack of access to finance and a non-conductive entrepreneurial environment.
The program intends to
1. Support and enhance the readiness of individuals to start a business
2. Promote favourable conditions for start-ups and enhance entrepreneurial framework conditions.
The program aims at linking existing public and private actors as well as existing support structures (e.g. start-up competitions, service providers) to facilitate the formation and potential growth of businesses. The focus is on supporting business driven initiatives and solutions. An important component of the program is to motivate and link the diaspora in Switzerland, Austria, Germany and the United States to entrepreneurs in the countries of origin. The diaspora representatives serve as promoters, mentors and investors for new businesses. Furthermore, the media will be strongly involved to recognise achievements and thus to foster enhanced entrepreneurial perception. The program interventions include the following:
- Provide market-oriented start-up and business administration training for entrepreneurs
- Motivate and link mentors who can provide guidance, encouragement but also technical support in business administration to entrepreneurs
- Link international and local investors to suitable start-ups and offer matching grants to minimise risks of early investments
- Organize peer-to-peer learning exchanges and study-trips for all program countries for exchange and mutual learning
- Promote women participation in entrepreneurial activities, enhance their networks and support system
By improving the framework conditions and readiness for entrepreneurs, the program aims at creating 4,000 jobs directly by the end of 2019. Since the program does not only focus on start-up but also on business growth, it is anticipated that the targeted businesses will increase their annual revenues by 50% and attract around CHF 14 million new investments from private investors. A sustained growth of the supported businesses is targeted in order to have created a total of 19,000 jobs 5 years after the programs completion in 2019.