Empretec is a flagship capacity-building programme of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) for the promotion of entrepreneurship and micro, small and medium sized enterprises (MSMEs) to facilitate sustainable development and inclusive growth.

Empretec’s core product is the Entrepreneurship Training Workshop (ETW), which aims to foster the motivation and self-confidence of participants who have chosen to start or expand their businesses. It is based on a behavioural approach, designed to unleash personal entrepreneurial potential. The methodology has proved to be effective for a vast range of target audiences in advanced and less developed economies. It works equally well for mature entrepreneurs and new entrants, opportunity and necessity entrepreneurs, participants with different levels of education. Tailor-made adaptations are made for vulnerable groups such as women, youth, retired people and participants with low literacy levels. The programme also promotes small supplier development, social and green entrepreneurship.

Empretec has a network of national Empretec centres established in more than 35 countries, which provides an opportunity for participants to explore international markets and establish cross border business links. The Enterprise Branch of the Division on Investment and Enterprise coordinates the programme from Geneva, Switzerland.

In the 30 years since its launch in 1988, Empretec has continuously demonstrated high impact positively affecting efficiency, sustainability and revenue generation of the participants’ businesses, resulting in their increased survival and growth rates, and the creation of new jobs.
For more information about Empretec, sub-programmes and events:
Business linkages
Empretec Women in Business Award
Empretec Global Summit


The Empretec Global Summit is the annual global gathering of business owners who have graduated from the United Nations’ entrepreneurial skills training programme, Empretec. The Empretec Summit offers new opportunities and incentives for Empretec Graduates to internationalize, and therefore improve productivity, create cross-border B2B linkages, identify potential funding sources and forge new partnerships. Not an Empretec graduate yet? Join us at the next Empretec Global Summit to discover our global community, explore inspirational business cases and find the next Empretec training opportunity nearest to you!

UNCTAD, as a key partner of the Global Entrepreneurship Congress, organizes the Empretec Global Summit annually, in the context of the Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC), an inter-disciplinary gathering where over 7000 people from 150 nations gather to facilitate the role of entrepreneurship in driving social and economic growth.

Watch a video (in Spanish only) from last year’s Empretec Global Summit in Medellín, Colombia.


Civil society: entrepreneurship is key to creating economic opportunity for disadvantaged groups
At the 2016 Multi-year Expert Meeting on Investment, Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Productive Capacity-Building and Sustainable Development, experts discussed the role of entrepreneurship in creating job opportunities for marginalized groups, such as women and youth. More…


Newsletter N. 31

Empretec Annual Report 2014

UNCTAD-Commonwealth Secretariat’s policy guide on youth entrepreneurship


13 – 16 March 2017

Empretec Summit IV and Global Entrepreneurship Congress
Johannesburg, South Africa