Establishing a new business is a challenge anywhere in the world, but more so in countries where legal frameworks, financial security, and essential services are not available, inadequate, or unaffordable. With funding from the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), Swisscontact aims to improve the conditions for establishing and growing new businesses in Peru, Vietnam, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia and Serbia. The diverse geographies, requiring the deployment of Swisscontact’s global resources for programme implementation, provide a basis for making highly informative comparisons of the effects of various interventions in different countries within a relatively new field.
Through the programme, Swisscontact strengthens the business capabilities of each entrepreneur, while increasing access to services and investment financing. The programme also works closely with local training institutes, state offices and service providers that support entrepreneurship.
The main activities in this programme are:
- Mentoring programme, in collaboration with the private sector;
- Investment programme supporting financing opportunities;
- Diaspora engagement, i.e. involving entrepreneurs with connections to their home country as mentors, sponsors, and investors;
- Network creation and strengthening of existing structures to facilitate the transfer of know-how among businesses, investors and government offices;
- Provision of market-oriented continuing education in enterprise creation, management and business administration;
- Targeted media promotion positioning the success stories of individual entrepreneurs, thereby fostering knowledge and recognition of entrepreneurship in each country;
- Special programme components to support women’s self-employment and entrepreneurship in local contexts.