The Least Developed Countries Report 2018

Entrepreneurship for Structural Transformation - Beyond Business as Usual

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For Least Developed Countries (LDCs) to progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals, they need to transform the structure of their economy. This, in turn, requires entrepreneurship that innovates. The entrepreneurial landscape in LDCs is dominated by micro and small enterprises with low chances of survival and growth, and scant innovation. While LDCs are part of global value chains, these provide only limited opportunities of entrepreneurship development and upgrading. Most LDCs policies and programmes for entrepreneurship aim at job creation, poverty reduction and women and youth empowerment. For entrepreneurship to be a driving force towards structural transformation, policies need to target and support high-potential firms.

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Sustainable development is enshrined as a global goal in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by the international community in 2015 as an aspirational vision to shape the development strategies and policies of all countries, including the least developed countries (LDCs). Sustainable development implies a radical reconfiguration of patterns of production and consumption, and changes in the relationship between societies and the natural environment. It therefore requires the structural transformation of economies, especially in LDCs, which need to transition to high-productivity economic activities and sectors in order to tackle the traditional challenges of economic and social development in a new way that mainstreams environmental considerations.

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