Waya Quiviger, Executive Director of the Master in International Relations at the IE School of Arts & Humanities, attended UNCTAD’s “Multi-year Expert Meeting on Enterprise Development Policies and Capacity-Building in Science, Technology and Innovation” held in Geneva from 16 to 18 January 2012. The meeting focused on development policies aimed at actively promoting innovation and technology for pro-poor entrepreneurship and innovation strategies, taking into account the particular characteristics of poor regions and communities, as well as needs of women and youth. The forum gathered over 150 participants from various country delegations, NGOs and international organizations such as the ILO, UNCTAD, and the European Commission.

Experts identified policies and practices aimed at reinforcing entrepreneurship and innovation at all levels. The outcome of the meeting will be used to design a comprehensive policy framework implemented by UNCTAD in order to promote entrepreneurship and innovation for the world’s poor.

Ms. Quiviger was asked to contribute as a key discussant in the “joint session on women in entrepreneurship and innovation” on Tuesday 17 January. Her remarks raised the issue that women represent 70% of the world’s poor and that there is an urgent imperative for women to find employment in order to lift themselves out of poverty. Entrepreneurship is one way to both provide employment and empowerment for women.  Ms. Quiviger provided examples of initiatives and projects offered at IE where students explore key concepts such as the base of the pyramid and the role that business can play to find entrepreneurial solutions for the poorest segments of society. Ms. Quiviger concluded by saying that it was essential that all stakeholders be included in meetings and conversations such as those held at UNCTAD: not just policymakers, NGOs and civil servants, but practitioners and corporate partners as well. Without the active participation and collaboration of those who run the economy and markets, poverty eradication would still remain a distant dream.

To learn more about this year’s UNCTAD meeting, click here.

To leern more about the UN Conference on Trade and Development, click here.


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