UN Development Programme and PUM Netherlands senior experts collaborate to support entrepreneurship and promote small and medium enterprises

Dec 7, 2016

UN Assistant Secretary General and Director of UNDP's Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, Magdy Martínez-Solimán and Thea Fierens board member of PUM Netherlands senior experts sign MoU (Photo: UNDP)

New York, 7 December 2016 - The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and PUM Netherlands senior experts (PUM) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to support small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and SME supporting organizations in developing countries.

This partnership brings together UNDP, UN’s global development network working in nearly 170 countries and territories, and PUM, one of Europe’s leading professional volunteer service organizations, in exploring ways of collaborating in the promotion of sustainable development of enterprises in general, and the advancement of women entrepreneurs and youth in particular.

The cooperation between UNDP and PUM includes to explore the development of joint vocational training programs advancing entrepreneurship and technical skills, to link SMEs in developing countries to UNDP’s value chain programs for example: in agriculture sector, manufacturing and learn as to share best practices within UNDP and UNDP’s sister organizations.

In the official signing ceremony of the agreement, Magdy Martínez-Solimán, UN Assistant Secretary General and Director of UNDP’s Bureau for Policy and Programme Support said: “Social entrepreneurship is a significant way to bring the world closer to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. This collaboration opens an opportunity to nurture self-reliance and self-sustaining solutions for entrepreneurs and enterprises.”

Johan van de Gronden, PUM CEO said, “UNDP is a global leader in promoting and fostering entrepreneurship, and we look forward to leverage our practical, hands-on expertise from our volunteer experts as well as former entrepreneurs to enterprises supported by UNDP country programmes. PUM has been dedicated to support entrepreneurship and fight poverty for over 40 years, having advised over 40,000 entrepreneurs globally to date. We believe this partnership will bring our impact to a higher level.”

UNDP and PUM have already explored collaboration in Haiti, Sierra Leone, Ukraine, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Thailand, Rwanda and Central Asia. Signing of the Memorandum of Understanding aims to support rolling out collaboration in more countries.

About UNDP

UNDP partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. On the ground in nearly 170 countries and territories, we offer global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations.  www.undp.org.

About PUM Netherlands senior experts

PUM Netherlands senior experts (PUM) is a non-profit organisation that promotes self-sufficiency, entrepreneurship and job creation through the sustainable development of small and medium-sized enterprises, business support organisations and cooperatives in developing countries and emerging markets. PUM supports entrepreneurs through short-term technical advisory missions executed by senior expert volunteers (mostly former entrepreneurs) providing practical, hands-on expertise. Since its founding in 1978 by the Dutch employer’s federation VNO- NCW and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, PUM has grown into Europe’s largest ‘temp agency’ for the placement of professional volunteers for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in developing countries. Per year on average, more than 1,800 enterprises request for the support of a PUM senior expert volunteer, to advise them to tackle serious constraints within their supply chain by implementing sustainable solutions. To date, with a database of 3,000+ senior voluntary experts, PUM has advised over 40,000 entrepreneurs globally, covering over 70 sectors of industry. A complete overview is available at www.pum.nl/en

Contact information


UNDP: Sangita Khadka, Communications Specialist | UNDP Bureau for Policy and Programme Support | Email: sangita.khadka@undp.org | Tel: +1 212 906 5043

PUM: Ingrid Goethart, Team Leader Communications and Tel: +31 (0)70 349 05 75 ingrid.goethart@pum.nl

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