A Seismic Shift in Cooperation

Entrepreneurship sessions at IDRC underscore new determination

Peter Schneider
Published: Wednesday, 04/13/2005 12:00 am EDT

Conferences which bring together experts to discuss the world's problems are nothing new; in the milieu of international development, they are a staple. Last week in Ottawa, however, it appeared that a new kind of conference had been born. Assembled by six sponsoring partners, led by IDRC, the "Unleashing Entrepreneurship" sessions held on April 7 and 8 were marked by a spirit of candor and cohesion, as 100 high-level professionals met to find new ways of addressing global poverty through small business development. Speaking during the opening plenary, host Alain Berranger, the IDRC's Director of Partnership and Business Development, said "When our intention is to advance knowledge, it requires a multidisciplinary approach. This conference is about facilitating collaboration between private enterprise and 'enablers.'"

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