Entrepreneurship in Fragile States

Project Expert

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

Adjunct Senior Fellow for Women and Foreign Policy

About the Project

Despite myriad challenges, entrepreneurs in conflict and postconflict environments have succeeded in building viable businesses that stabilize families and communities and foster economic growth on a national level. While the importance of entrepreneurship has been widely discussed, little is known about what works in terms of linking entrepreneurs with markets in these environments. My working paper, Entrepreneurship in Postconflict Zones, fills that gap by investigating efforts to improve market linkages for entrepreneurs in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Liberia, among others. It focuses on new and growing firms, as well as firms that have developed into large-scale enterprises. Through op-eds and blog posts, I discuss unique barriers facing female entrepreneurs, such as their limited access to capital. As the private sector is becoming an increasingly valued partner in government efforts to address development issues, I also suggest ways that governments and international organizations can focus their efforts to address challenges seen by entrepreneurs in conflict and post-conflict environments, thus yielding gains in the efficiency of public aid.