Rural entrepreneurship development

A staggering 75 per cent of the world’s poor live in rural areas. And yet, resources and policies continue to be biased in favour of urban development. An imbalance in development is the consequence, with detrimental effects on both rural and urban people. Hence, reducing urban-rural disparities and gender inequalities is a crucial element for any poverty reduction strategy.Mobilizing the potential productivity of rural people and particularly of women is indispensable to achieve the resilient economic growth that will pull people above the poverty line.

Most of the rural population depends, directly and indirectly, on small-scale food crop agriculture, fishery, pastoral animal husbandry or rural wage labour associated with plantations and ranches, and ancillary activities linked to rural townships. Many rural families need to diversify their sources of income and employment in view of increasingly smaller parcels of land, low agricultural productivity, volatile weather conditions and soil erosion. The rural non-farm economy plays an important role for wealth creation and well-being across countries.

UNIDO promotes poverty-reducing growth strategies to diversify rural economic activities, including the development of non-farm economic activities and facilitating the transition of informal activities into the formal growth sector.

Within this context UNIDO’s Rural and Womens entrepreneurship Unit is engaged in the following projects:

WED Bolivia

Bolivia’s poverty is deepened by a high social inequality between urban & rural populations particularly based on gender. UNIDO acts to reverse this through the development of business opportunities for margianlised communities, particularly women.

WED Pakistan

The programme in Pakistan aims to the capabilities of manufacturing SMEs in selected industrial sectors providing them with a holistic range of services to enable them to increase their productivity and international competitiveness, & meet the growing challenges of an increasingly globalized economic and trading environment.

PTGF Africa Regional Network

The project acts to create an enabling environment for income-generation through entrepreneurial opportunities with increased access to productive resources, in particular for women and rural entrepreneurs. Its focus is on the agri-food sector in Malawi, Kenya, Eritrea, Tanzania, & Zimbabwe.