The Business Boot Camp is a business incubation platform that WPDI created to promote local entrepreneurship in the areas in which we conduct peacebuilding programs. For peacebuilding to occur as a grassroots process, communities must rely on endogenous forces and resources. Possessing concrete skills, such as a job or a business, is empowering: it brings self-confidence and the values necessary for maintaining a livelihood. Supporting small businesses designed and managed by young people, women, and local community members at large is a key component of our work.
The Business Boot Camp program rigorously selects business projects, followed by in-depth support on business plan design.
To ensure that candidates have the necessary basic skills to operate a business, we select projects designed by trainees who successfully completed our business and entrepreneurship courses. Then, the selected projects are developed into businesses overseen by a committee composed of representatives from WPDI, WPDI’s partners from the private sector, NGOs, intergovernmental organizations, and local and national stakeholders. The committee’s role is to provide our entrepreneurs with both tangible resources such as grants and/or loans, and intangible resources, such as backstopping support, advice, and reinforced training tailored to the needs of the entrepreneurs and the specific stage of their business development.