Topic 5: Shedding light on conflict settings, gender aspects, and other new trends

What do you need to do different in fragile and conflict-affected contexts? How to successfully integrate gender-aspects in MSME acceleration? And how to create win-win-situations in fostering collaboration between start-ups and large companies? This topic will shed light on specific fragility and gender issues and explore the roles of new actors in building entrepreneurship ecosystems.

Knowledge Gifts

The following Knowledge Gifts will be presented during the Practitioners' Exchange:


Individual programming versus mainstreaming

Are gender, green entrepreneurship and fragility truly cross-cutting issues? Should development organizations provide specialized support to these target groups or should they be mainstreamed into regular support programs?

Business continuity

What are the challenges and needs of entrepreneurs in fragile and conflict-affected environments? What are possible continuity strategies and how can entrepreneurs trade /survive despite conflict? What can development cooperation do to support entrepreneurial continuity?

Entrepreneurship promotion to bridge the humanitarian-development nexus

How to promote entrepreneurship of refugees and IDPs in settings dominated by humanitarian actors? How to encourage entrepreneurial activities of people who have become dependent on humanitarian assistance? Which partner organizations can we work with to build sustainable support structures in settings dominated by humanitarian organizations? 

Entrepreneur’s role for peace

How can entrepreneurial promotion in fragile environments be linked to peace and stability? What is the specific role that the Entrepreneur can play in order to foster peace?

Changing motives for Entrepreneurial Action

After years of conflict, the motives behind Entrepreneurial Action have changed. How does the motivation to set up and run an own business change in fragile and conflict-affected situations. How can development organizations develop entrepreneurial mindsets in fragile / post-conflict settings?

Selection of cooperating actors

How do development cooperation organizations select the actors (both entrepreneurs / businesses as well as local support institutions) that they support in fragile environments? Are only those supported that have been neutral during conflict or an outspoken peace agenda? As there are only few if any local business support institutions – which ones to select and work with? What is the role of development organizations in such an environment – is it justifiable to set up institutions? How can sustainable local structure be built in the medium-term?

Understanding the entrepreneurial ecosystem in fragile environments

Official versus local institutions – ODA piece of work.

Transforming war economy

In conflict and post-conflict situations, economic activities cannot be seen as a separate, apolitical sphere, but seem to play a central role in sustaining violence and fighting. What can be done in order to facilitate transitions from ‘war economies’ to ‘peace economies’? How can development organizations provide alternative economic perspectives to the entrepreneurs of the war economy?

Stereotypes and Discrimination

How can entrepreneurship measures be implemented for women’s economic empowerment in regions where the cultural stereotypes hamper women to choose their economic opportunities freely? In many countries, local norms and laws discriminate against women. How can development organisations help work against this discrimination?

Gender Diversity in MSMEs

What can Micro-, Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs) do to in generate a gender diverse workforce within their companies? What kind of measures can MSMEs take to support women that are tied up in unpaid care work to move into the workplace?

Supporting women entrepreneurs

What specific challenges do women face when starting and developing their business? How can entrepreneurship development programs be tailored to take into account women’s specific needs and challenges? How can men be included in measures to promote women entrepreneurs?

Green entrepreneurship and Greening enterprises and entrepreneurship promotion

How can environmental issues be mainstreamed into efforts to promote entrepreneurship? Are specific support services and trainings needed to promote entrepreneurs in the green economy?

Topic Hosts

Dana Hinderer - Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH

Dana Hinderer has been working in GIZ headquarter advising GIZ projects and BMZ on Sustainable Economic Development with a focus on Entrepreneurship Development for 1,5 years. Due to her previous position in a German Business Development Agency she´s also familiar with topics like start-up promotion and cluster management.

Christina Schmittmann - Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH

Christina Schmittmann has been working on private sector development issues within GIZ for more than 10 years. After working in and leading projects in Namibia and Tunisia on topics such as Value Chain and Export Development, she is now working in Headquarters advising GIZ projects and BMZ on topics such as Entrepreneurship Development.

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