EMPRETEC is a United Nations programme established by UNCTAD's Division of Investment and Enterprise to promote the creation of sustainable, innovative and internationally competitive small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
The programme is implemented through national centres that have so far been established in 33 countries around the world.
The name EMPRETEC – the Spanish acronym for emprendedores (entrepreneurs) and tecnología (technology) – was first introduced in Argentina in 1988. Since its inception, the EMPRETEC programme has assisted more than 240,000 entrepreneurs through the local market-driven business support centres – helping to found or expand businesses, and creating thousands of jobs in the process.
There are 12 EMPRETEC Centres in Latin America -- in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Ecuador, Guatemala, Panama, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
The regional EMPRETEC Latin America Forum week in Panama City will kick off on 10 September with a regional workshop for EMPRETEC trainers led by an international master trainer from Brazil. The 3 day workshop will provide an opportunity for instructors from different countries and of different level of experience to touch up on the EMPRETEC methodology, share experiences about working with different target groups and keep abreast of latest teaching methods.
The workshop will be followed by a meeting of the EMPRETEC Latin America Forum on the 12th and 13th of September. This is an initiative which began in 2010 and whose aim is to provide a platform for EMPRETEC Centres to pool efforts and work together on common projects of interest. This includes developing joint project proposals, organizing multi-country EMPRETEC events and training, fundraising and raising awareness about the EMPRETEC programme at the regional level.
This year the Forum has decided to focus on two issues which are of increasing importance in the region: global value chains and tourism.
The different centres will share their experiences in these topics and the meeting will also include a field visit to the province of Coclé in Panama where a rural tourist route is being developed and capacity building of entrepreneurs is a key element for its success.
The Forum will also provide a platform for EMPRETEC Centres to become more involved in the development and promotion of entrepreneurship policies, in particular UNCTAD's Entrepreneurship Policy Framework and Implementation Guidance, which was launched in Qatar in April this year during UNCTAD XIII.
Further information on the event can be obtained from the Coordinator of the EMPRETEC Panama Centre, Ms. Lourdes Navarro at: firstname.lastname@example.org, and from Ms. Stephania Bonilla of the Enterprise Branch at: email@example.com.