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May 2012

From Poverty to Entrepreneurship

Sarathbabu Elumalai's picture

Sarathbabu Elumalai is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Food King, a food catering business in Chennai, India, with about 300 employees. He grew up in a slum but went on to get a masters degree from the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad and then started the company in 2006 with only $40 in capital. He was honored for his entrepreneurship and leadership skills at the World Bank’s 2012 Global Youth Conference in March. He spoke with us about the challenges of launching a company and the critical need for information and access to finance.

Focusing on Job Quality and Youth

Jürgen Zattler's picture

Germany is one of the world's largest foreign aid donors, but like most countries the recent financial crisis poses challenges both at home and abroad. We spoke with Juergen Zattler – the Deputy Director General for Multilateral and European Policy in the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development – about how the ministry approaches job creation in developing countries and whether any lessons could be drawn from Germany’s own recent labor market experience.

Acting Now to Reform Labor Markets

José Manuel Salazar-Xirinachs's picture

The World Bank and the International Labor Organization (ILO) recently released a major report that inventories how 77 developed and developing countries responded to the financial crisis—including a database for the public domain. We spoke with ILO Executive Director José Manuel Salazar-Xirinachs about lessons that could be drawn. He stressed the need to reform labor markets before a crisis hits and the special challenges for people with disabilities.

A U.S. Business Take on the Financial Crisis

Ronnie Goldberg's picture

The U.S. business community faced an unprecedented test as the financial crisis hit in 2008. We spoke with Ronnie Goldberg, Chief Policy Officer for the U.S. Council for International Business and the U.S. employer representative on the International Labor Organization's Governing Body. She stressed the almost existential nature of the crisis and highlighted businesses' top concerns: protectionism, small and medium enterprises, liquidity, a work-ready workforce, and social safety nets.

Using Radio to Reach Out to Small Farmers

Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu's picture

Farmers in rural Africa, especially where access to electricity is a problem, have difficulty to obtain information on modern farming techniques. Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu is the Executive Director of the Smallholders Foundation in Nigeria’s southern Imo State—whose radio station broadcasts 10 hours of agricultural programming daily, keeping locals up to date on everything from soil management to cassava prices at nearby markets. We spoke with him about his choice of radio as a way of reaching out to small farmers and the trials and tribulations of launching his enterprise.

A Call for “Good Jobs” AND “Good Workers”

Harry Holzer's picture

In the aftermath of the “Great Recession,” much of the world continues to focus on the quantity of jobs being generated in industrial and developing countries, and on how they affect employment and unemployment. OIver the longer term, we also need to the raise the quality of jobs produced in our economies and the skills of workers who might fill them. I have done a great deal of empirical work on job quality in U.S. labor markets, and have found some general principles and policy implications that emerge, which I believe are applicable to industrial countries and to those now industrializing.

The Job Challenge in Post-Conflict and Fragile States

Paul Collier's picture

For post-conflict and fragile states, there is an acute need for generating and sustaining gainful and productive employment to help economies rebuild. Paul Collier a Professor of Economics at Oxford University, specializes in governance in low-income countries including the economics of civil war. We asked his thoughts on job creation in post-conflict and fragile states, which sectors hold the most promise, and where the bottlenecks lie.