Bridging gaps between theory and practice is essential to achieve Sustainable Development Goals. To this end, public policies are the formal means for landing obligations embedded in legal frameworks, as well as those voluntary commitments from different sources at the national and international level. Policies allow the cohesion and articulation of strategies to undertake concrete actions with an impact on collective welfare.
Therefore, the active participation of all actors involved is important to identify knots and points of convergence for strengthening synergies to achieve common goals. The creation of spaces for dialogue represents an opportunity to enhance capabilities and share good practices towards a culture of learning. It allows the fostering of competencies required by policymakers and practitioners to face different challenges through constructive responses.
The new coronavirus pandemic is having unprecedented impacts across the globe, especially on human health, social and economic activities. In this context, Governments are intensifying their efforts to combat the global spread of COVID-19 by enacting various measures to support public health systems, safeguard the economy and ensure public order and safety; as well as to ensure a resilient, green, and inclusive recovery, leaving no one behind. Likewise, entrepreneurs have looked for creative solutions not only to keep their activities afloat due to different challenges, that they have experienced but also to expand their businesses. The downturn in the global economy following this huge sanitary and health crisis represents unprecedented challenges but provides opportunities as well.
Within this groundwork, entrepreneurship plays a crucial role as one driving force for sustainable development. It is worth acknowledging its features as the “willingness and capacity to undertake conception, organization, and management of a new venture, accepting all attendant risks and seeking economic or social return as a reward.”1
Although the content of public policies should be developed and adapted to the needs of each country, according to their specific contexts, it is worth considering the existence of core elements for a comprehensive approach.
In this regard, capacity building on policymaking is needed to lead the way towards positive results, bearing in mind that neither national circumstances nor knowledge are static and can always be strengthened. Likewise, learning from experience contributes to overcome or at least mitigate the causes and effects of a wide spectrum of challenges. Given this background, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) developed the Entrepreneurship Policy Framework and Guide of Implementation 2.0., based on its technical expertise and practical experience.
To complement this endeavour, UNCTAD joined efforts with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) to develop the e-learning course Policymaking for inclusive and sustainable entrepreneurship. The development of this tool is part of the project “Global Initiative towards the post-COVID-19 resurgence of the MSME sector” financed by the UN Development Account and implemented by UNCTAD in cooperation with the UN Regional Commissions and DESA. The objective of the project is to strengthen the capacity and resilience of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in developing countries and economies in transition to mitigate the economic and social impact of the global COVID-19 crisis. It is part of the UN Framework for the immediate socio-economic response to COVID-192.
Recognize the benefits of promoting entrepreneurship and its impact on sustainable development;
Describe opportunities and challenges faced by entrepreneurs;
Identify relevant policy objectives and policy options;
Understand the measures needed to support entrepreneurship;
Understand how to develop an action plan, monitor its implementation and measure the impact;
Learn best practices on policies, programmes, and initiatives in the area of entrepreneurship promotion at
national, regional and global levels.
The course is based on UNITAR’s sound adult learning pedagogical principles. Each module includes readings, self-assessment activities and quizzes. The learning activities are distributed in such a way to ensure the achievement of the learning objectives in a flexible manner.
The course is designed for supporting policymakers and practitioners from both developed and developing countries.