Empretec is a flagship capacity-building programme of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) for the promotion of entrepreneurship and micro, small and medium sized enterprises (MSMEs) to facilitate sustainable development and inclusive growth.

Empretec’s core product is the Entrepreneurship Training Workshop (ETW), which aims to foster the motivation and self-confidence of participants who have chosen to start or expand their businesses. It is based on a behavioural approach, designed to unleash personal entrepreneurial potential. The methodology has proved to be effective for a vast range of target audiences in advanced and less developed economies. It works equally well for mature entrepreneurs and new entrants, opportunity and necessity entrepreneurs, participants with different levels of education. Tailor-made adaptations are made for vulnerable groups such as women, youth, retired people and participants with low literacy levels. The programme also promotes small supplier development, social and green entrepreneurship.

Empretec has a network of national Empretec centres established in 40 countries, which provides an opportunity for participants to explore international markets and establish cross border business links. The Enterprise Branch of the Division on Investment and Enterprise coordinates the programme from Geneva, Switzerland.

In the 30 years since its launch in 1988, Empretec has continuously demonstrated high impact positively affecting efficiency, sustainability and revenue generation of the participants’ businesses, resulting in their increased survival and growth rates, and the creation of new jobs.
For more information about Empretec, sub-programmes and events:
Business linkages
Empretec Women in Business Award
Empretec Global Summit


Directors at the XXVI Empretec annual meeting discuss how to strengthen links and strategic partnerships

Thirteen representatives from eleven Empretec centres gathered in Geneva, Switzerland, on 11-13 December 2019 for the XXVI Empretec annual meeting to highlight the major achievements over the past twelve months, and to report on strategic and operational issues related to national Empretec programmes.

Mr. James Zhan, Director of UNCTAD’s Division on Investment and Enterprise, welcomed participants and engaged in an interactive discussion with centres to hear what UNCTAD could do to sustain and strengthen Empretec in their respective countries. He called on centres to share success stories that show impact.

Ms. Tatiana Krylova, Head, Enterprise Branch, provided an overview of  activities, achievements and main highlights of UNCTAD’s work on entrepreneurship in 2019 and moderated discussions on strategic issues concerning the Empretec programme, particularly the standardization and roll-out of a new version of the 6-day Empretec Entrepreneurship Training Workshop (ETW) and intra-centre cooperation, with a view to raising the programme’s visibility and forming strategic partnerships across the Empretec network.


Newsletter N. 37

Newsletter N. 36

Empretec Network: Impact and Success Stories


11 – 13 May 2020

Multi-year Expert Meeting on Investment, Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Productive Capacity-Building and Sustainable Development
Palais des Nations
Geneva, Switzerland