STEMpower, Visa Launch Entrepreneurship, Financial Mgt Training for 3,600 Ethiopians

Addis Ababa, February 1/2021(ENA) STEMpower and Visa have today launched a training program on entrepreneurship and financial management to 3,600 young Ethiopians in a bid to help them establish businesses of their own.

During the launching ceremony of the training program today, STEM power Executive Director, Kidist Gebreamlak said that STEMpower and Visa have established a three year partnership to promote entrepreneurship in Ethiopia.

She stated that for now, the partnership has planned to train 3,600 entrepreneurs.

“After the training, we will continue to support the entrepreneurs for one year until they could establish their own business with the support from investors,” she affirmed.

The topics of the training include entrepreneurial mind set, entrepreneurial skills, and financial education, it was learned.

Visa in this partnership will provide soft skill training, particularly in digital banking and finance, it was indicated.

Information Network Security Agency Director-General, Shumete Gizaw on the occasion said his agency has recently formed partnership with STEMpower to collaboratively work on cyber development.

STEMPower-Visa entrepreneurship and financial education training program is part of the nation’s efforts to create financial inclusion and job creation, he stated.

Shumete stressed the importance of investing on young entrepreneurs and their start ups for the development of science and technology and to support the country’s economic development.

STEMpower entered a partnership agreement with VISA, the world leader in digital payments, in November 3, 2020, to support the Ethiopian jobs creation initiative by supporting young innovators to establish and grow their technically-oriented Small and Medium Enterprises.

Rise of shadow entrepreneurship – The Hindu

Recently, a professor at a business school allegedly misused his faculty position to provide fake certificates to students whom he had compelled to attend an online course that he taught. He essentially took advantage of India’s rising pre-pandemic gig economy in education. When authorities at the institution discovered the racket, they suspended him. This is a cautionary tale for the global rise of shadow entrepreneurship, not just in education but other sectors such as finance (for easy loans), the betting economy (online games) and healthcare (e-pharmacies). Given the potential perverse consequences of shadow entrepreneurship in the long run for consumer welfare, regulation is needed to monitor quality of services.

Supply and demand shock

What might drive the rise of shadow entrepreneurship? When there is a supply and demand shock as momentous as COVID-19, a new market may open up to tackle the shifting inwards of markets, owing to rising prices and lower quantities available. Shadow entrepreneurs, offering the allure of technology-mediated services, can help release the associated distortions and frictions in the market by offering complementary services that traditional service providers may be constrained to offer or consumers might not be able to access due to lockdown constraints. This could produce a redistribution of old consumers towards these new markets provided through technology and also entry of new consumers. While markets may self-correct using the invisible hand principles, the initial spike in demand and ensuing lock-in effects might imply higher market power for early movers.

The manifestation of such market power will happen through a variety of ways beyond the obvious price setting effects. Small firms will get acquired by large firms. First movers in the space with deep pockets could generate irrationally high valuations. This may also show up with cross-border and national security implications as recently reported about shady loans being provided by Chinese instant loan providers online. Such technology-mediated shadow entrepreneurial platforms could also harbour less than safe spaces as is happening with harassment in Indian telemedicine platforms.

It will also mean that unscrupulous individuals who are not entrepreneurs per se but are complementary service providers will potentially take more advantage of these post-pandemic market constraints, extracting money from consumers by means such as document forgery. Clearly, while such shadow entrepreneurialism may spike short-run welfare effects with technology mediated access, they could create perverse welfare consequences in the long run.

The way forward

What is then the way forward to regulate such activity? As research by Amit Seru at Stanford University and his colleagues found through studying shadow finance in the U.S., or research by the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad found in the world of private coaching houses in Indian education, strong monitoring of quality would be essential. This needs to be complemented with non-compliance being punishable with a jail term, clamping down on services and related strict consequences. Those shadow firms that comply are more than welcome to join the dominant mode of service delivery with non-shadow firms. But without regulation, the situation could spiral out of control, given monitoring needs of public goods distribution for the developing world. There also needs to be an associated harmonisation of activities between competition authorities of governments (in India’s case the Ministry of Corporate Affairs in regulating shadow entrepreneurship and government departments in healthcare, education or finance).

The big question though is, caught in the stress and fatigue of trying to manage the virus, will governments worldwide pay attention? If not, we may be in for the non-COVID-19 adverse welfare consequences of COVID-19, given the rise in shadow entrepreneurship around the world.

Chirantan Chatterjee is a faculty member at IIM Ahmedabad and Visiting Fellow at Hoover Institution, Stanford University

This story is available exclusively to The Hindu subscribers only.

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Deshpande Symposium on Innovation & Entrepreneurship in Higher Education

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The Deshpande Symposium on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education brings together academics, policy planners and practitioners to discuss best practices in integrating entrepreneurship throughout their college and university communities. What began as a small gathering now boasts a powerhouse lineup drawing from all facets of where the worlds of academia and business intersect. Co-founded by the Deshpande Foundation and the University of Massachusetts Lowell in 2012, the Symposium draws hundreds of faculty, administrators, students and business people to discuss an array of topics, including entrepreneurial culture and ecosystems, innovative entrepreneurship curricula, research commercialization, startups and emerging trends.


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innovation, entrepreneurship, university leadership, student engagement, awards, higher education, symposium, conference, entrepreneurial university, university conference, Curriculum Innovation, University Commercialization, Entrepreneurial University Culture, Entrepreneurial University Ecosystems, and emerging trends

Pantami Harps on Benefits of National Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre

Dr Isa Ali Pantami, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy has said that the National Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre will enable Nigerians acquire cutting-edge technological skills, when it finally becomes functional.

Pantami stated this on Thursday during the Groundbreaking Ceremony of the National Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre, in Abuja.

He noted that the groundbreaking ceremony of the National Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre is another giant leap towards the development of our digital economy and diversification of our country’s economy.

Pantami said “The Centre will be based on the ‘live, work and learn’ concept.

The activities of the centre, according to him, will align with 6 out of the 8 pillars of the National Digital Economy Policy for a Digital Nigeria.

The minister also revealed that they are developing National Policy on Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship, which this Centre and many other centres all over the country will implement.

He further explained that the centre when completed would provide several benefits to Nigerians and he mentioned few of them as thus:

“The centre would enable Nigerians to participate in the development of hardware, software and emerging technologies; it will create an innovative ecosystem; provide a unique platform for technical skills (programming), soft skills (social interaction), entrepreneurship (starting and operating a business) to focus on the promotion and development of ICT, including smart energy solutions to drive ICT.

“Other benefits of the National Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre are, it will help nurture new ideas and develop an inquisitive perspective to support in the creation of employers of labour; support in the promotion and development of ICTs, including aspects of advanced applied research; and allow startups to accelerate and experience innovations at scale, through customized visits, design thinking sessions and co-innovation workshops to create a highly collaborative and immersive environment”.

Speaking on some of the achievements of the Ministry, Pantami divulged that the growth of the economy is as a result of the ICT’s contribution to Nigeria’s GDP, reaching an unprecedented value of 17.83% in Q2 ‘2020 according to National Bureau for Statistics.

According to the Minister, “We have also recorded an all time high broadband penetration since the redesignation of the Ministry. When I assumed office on the 21st of August 2019, the official broadband penetration figures stood at 33.72%. It increased with the subsequent monthly figures from end of August 2019 to end of November 2020, where it stood at 45.07%.

“We also succeeded in obtaining the commitment of the State Governors to peg their Right of Way charges to a maximum of N145 per linear metre, resolving an issue that had lingered for over 7years.

“In addition, we have also experienced great success in the development of other aspects of our digital economy. Over 120,000 Nigerians have benefited from our online digital skills program, with over 80,000 of them receiving one form of certification or another. This is even without taking the physical trainings into account.

“We have developed over a dozen policies aimed at providing the right environment to enable entrepreneurs to thrive in the sector”.

Pantami further commended the Director-General of NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, for his effort towards the implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and the digital innovation and entrepreneurship initiative.