The job creation challenge is immense. 28 million jobs will be needed each year in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia alone to employ the growing number of youth entering the working age population. This requires a substantial increase in both wage employment and entrepreneurs. And raising the productivity and growth of firms is key for generating more and better jobs over the long run. The importance of a vibrant private sector in creating jobs and addressing developmental challenges is well recognized both within the World Bank Group and among our client countries. Our client countries, for example, spend millions of dollars on SME development programs but there are numerous challenges in making such investments effective and to this end, policy choices must be evidence-based.
What difference does firm dynamism make to jobs and economic transformation in developing countries? What helps firms and entrepreneurs innovate, adopt frontier technology and grow to become superstars? And what is the appropriate role for public policy in driving such changes? The ETIFE (Firms, entrepreneurship and innovation) unit at the World Bank, a team of microeconomists and development practitioners works on providing evidence-based, operationally-relevant solutions to these questions. The team’s expertise lies in core areas of innovation and technology adoption, firm growth and productivity, and small and micro entrepreneurs.