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How Have Firms Fared in Times of COVID-19 in Addis Ababa?: Evidence from Eight Rounds of High-Frequency Phone Surveys(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-11-24) Wieser, Christina ; Abebe, Girum ; Asfaw, AdamsuThe COVID-19 pandemic and its negative economic effects create a need for timely data and evidence to help monitor and mitigate the social and economic impacts of the crisis. To monitor the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and related containment measures on formal firms in Ethiopia and inform the policy response, the World Bank, in collaboration with the government, is implementing a high-frequency phone survey of firms (HFPS-F). The HFPS-F interviews a sample of firms in Addis Ababa every three weeks for a total of eight survey rounds. This high-frequency follow-up allows for a better understanding of the effects of and responses to the COVID-19 pandemic on firm operations, hiring and firing, and expectations of future operations and labor demand in order to better tailor and implement interventions and policy responses and monitor their effects
The Untapped Potential of Mauritania’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem: Lessons from the Entrepreneur's Marathon(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-08) World Bank GroupIn Mauritania – a country dominated by the Sahara Desert and defined by tradition – players from across society are coming together to encourage innovation and set a new path for the country's development. From the public sector to local and international businesses, as well as the donor community, entrepreneurship is beginning to emerge as a crucial element in any strategy to address Mauritania's greatest challenges: socio-economic inclusion, poverty reduction, youth employment, economic diversification and climate change. Since independence, the country has pursued a traditional state-driven model that has failed to catalyze the necessary investments and private sector-driven solutions to these problems. Due to structural limitations of competition in the economy, the country's private sector is a concentration of large business groups that dominate the trade, banking and procurement markets. New entrants are crowded out, with formal micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Mauritania numbering a mere 3,000. Informal self-employment and micro-businesses in agriculture, livestock and commerce currently make up the vast majority of jobs among the poorest households in Mauritania. Smaller independent firms continue to encounter obstacles, discouraging the emergence of local suppliers and directly impacting international investors who face higher operating costs. Poor quality in education and professional training reinforce these challenges, limiting job opportunities even in expanding sectors in the economy. A lack of expertise and practical skills are compounded by complex labor regulations, making it even harder for businesses to recruit and retain young job-seeking Mauritanians.