The deadline has been extended for the 2012 CIPE Essay Competition. The international youth essay competition is open to young around the world who wish to share their ideas on how youth can help strengthen democracy and the private sector. The CIPE international essay competition is organized by the Center for International Private Enterprise with funding from the National Endowment for Democracy.

Who can participate: Students and young professionals aged 18-30. Past CIPE Youth Essay Contest Winners are not eligible to participate.

Length and language of entries: 1,500-2,500 words. All essays must be in English.

Submission Format: All essays must be submitted through the online form and must include the writer’s name in the file name and inside the document. For example, if your name is John J. Smith, the document should be named “SMITH-JOHN.doc”.


The essay you submit must focus on the role of youth and, where applicable, include examples from your personal experience relating to the topic. Essays that only talk about challenges to entrepreneurship in general terms, or limit proposed solutions only to what governments should do, will not be successful.

Entrepreneurship and Innovation: Beyond technology

  • What barriers do young entrepreneurs in your country face in translating their ideas into products and services?
  • How do young entrepreneurs in your country foster new ways of acting and thinking?
  • What supporting institutions do young innovators need to succeed?

Inclusive Growth: The entrepreneurial environment for scaling up business

  • What challenges do youth-led businesses and entrepreneurs in your country face when they’re expanding their enterprises?
  • What opportunities do youth-led businesses and entrepreneurs have to succeed in your country, and what are some of the success stories?
  • In your society, what tools or institutions do entrepreneurs need to grow small enterprises into larger, more prosperous businesses?

Social transformations: The role of entrepreneurs in building democratic societies

  • How can entrepreneurship among youth strengthen newly-formed or emerging democracies?
  • How are young entrepreneurs from different backgrounds participating in your country’s democracy?
  • In what ways are young entrepreneurs contributing to social transformations in your country?


  • For each category, CIPE will publish the winning first, second, and third place essays. Winning authors will receive a $500 honorarium.
  • One grand prize winner will be invited on an all-expense-paid trip to attend CIPE’s upcoming Democracy that Delivers for Entrepreneurs conference in the United States, which is planned for April 2013.

Deadline for the CIPE Essay Competition 2012: November 18, 2012 at 11:00 PM (EDT). (the deadline was extended from October 19)

For more information, and to submit your entry online, click here

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