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


“Changing the Narrative” – Photo exhibition on Entrepreneurship for Migrants and Refugees

UNCTAD, in partnership with IOM and UNHCR, hosted a photo exhibition that visualizes the contributions of migrant and refugee entrepreneurs to their host and origin countries.

The exhibition, which took place during the Global Entrepreneurship Week, is the result of an open call for entries diffused worldwide through the respective networks of UNCTAD, UNHCR and IOM. It tried to reflect how migrants and refugees are able to generate income and develop businesses to provide goods and services in their host countries.

The place and conditions in which they do so are diverse. In the spirit of delivering as one UN, this initiative built on the ongoing tripartite partnership that led to the joint UNCTAD/IOM/UNHCR Policy Guide on Entrepreneurship for Migrants and Refugees, launched during the World Investment Forum in Geneva in October 2018.


Newsletter N. 36

Empretec Network: Impact and Success Stories


11 – 13 December 2019

26th Empretec Directors’ Meeting
Room XXIII, Palais des Nations
Geneva, Switzerland