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International development

Supporting entrepreneurship: What does it mean for Cherkaoui Ferdous?

March 3, 2021

We asked our colleague Cherkaoui, Expert in Business Development Services, how he works, on a daily basis, to support entrepreneurship in developing and emerging countries. His account highlights his contribution to several development goals, starting with gender equality, job creation and poverty reduction.

"Entrepreneurship is a key to development that is particularly vital in countries where employment opportunities are limited," he explains.

"Today, entrepreneurship cannot serve a form of development that reproduces inequality, widens the gender gap, or fuels youth exclusion. Impact entrepreneurship is most meaningful when it addresses the gender barriers that limit women's access to resources, financing, assets in their name, and knowledge. Faced with these barriers, many women entrepreneurs struggle to break out of their precarious situation. They limit themselves to subsistence entrepreneurship, often in the informal sector.

We must eliminate these barriers and encourage women to go beyond subsistence entrepreneurship to seize opportunities, create jobs and grow their businesses. How can we do this? By offering them support to help them better design and manage their projects, but also to gain confidence, leadership and entrepreneurial skills.

We can do this by joining forces with partners (financial institutions, entrepreneurship support organizations, associations) and by combining our efforts, our networks and our expertise with theirs. But above all, by joining forces with women and youth. Because far from being passive beneficiaries, they are the real architects of change.

The most gratifying thing for me is to see them assume a leadership position that makes a difference in their projects and in their community."