Summer 2015 Issue
Grey: Countries/economies that have not put their business registration processes online are grey on the map. Green: When a government’s website meets the ger.co criteria, the country/economy becomes green.
uemoa-climatdesaffaires.com/pages/ComPress_ suite.php), “one of the objectives is to undertake reforms beyond traditional indicators (Doing Business, World Economic Forum, Mo Ibrahim Foundation, etc.) and improve their ranking in the Global Enterprise Registration index (www.ger.co). Online services will stimulate entrepreneurship, help formalize micro-enterprises, increase government revenues and reduce corruption.” “Reducing the number of steps required to start a business saves entrepreneurs and investors time and reduces opportunities for corruption,” states Jonathan Ortmans, President of the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) and founder of Global Entrepreneurship Week. A 2002 study found that business entry costs as a percentage of GDP per capita were an astonishing 94% and 67% for Africa and Central Europe, respectively, versus a mere 3% for high income countries5. Complex administrative processes pose an enormous barrier to small and mediumsized enterprises which, lacking the resources to comply with such processes, forego potential business expansion. According to Ortmans, “for individuals, GER.co’s assistance with business registration brings the dignity of a step towards participating in the formal economy, and for governments, the platform helps identify the best business registration practices, simplify their own business registration procedures, and foster an inclusive global economy.” The “Go Green by 2019” campaign is a call to action for governments everywhere to make their business registration processes clear and simple by 2019. This will facilitate economic growth and good governance globally. If governments see that they can make business registration processes easy, they will be inspired to simplify other administrative procedures, which will improve investment climates exponentially. The campaign targets governments with two messages: • To governments that have not put their business registration processes online: please do so. (See “How it works /Not listed” on GER.co for a list of 69 economies without online business registration
websites. These economies are grey on the GER. co world map) • To all governments: please clarify and simplify business registration processes. (Start the simplification process by completing the “Governments/Assess your website” form on GER. co).
USE GER.CO: YOUR VISIT TO GER.CO TELLS GOVERNMENTS THAT SIMPLE ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURES MATTER. MORE SITE TRAFFIC MAKES SIMPLE PROCESSES A PRIORITY.
The GER team rates each country’s official business registration website for its userfriendliness, using a scale of zero to ten green dots, with more green dots signifying better processes: hence, “going green”. According to Ortmans, “governments can help entrepreneurs everywhere by creating and maintaining business registration websites that rank high on the green dot scale, continuing their efforts to simplifying procedures, and putting more government administrative procedures online.” i
Please link GER.co to your website, encourage site usage, and advocate for simple administrative procedures globally. Computer code for linking your website to the GER.co website is part of the “Go Green by 2019” promotional materials. The GER. co website is a great resource for chambers of commerce, any organization promoting international trade and investment, any global business, and entrepreneurs everywhere.
References 1 OECD. (2009, March). Is Informal Normal? Messages, figures and data. 2 UNCTAD. (2010, February 15). Public investment in administrative efficiency for business facilitationsharing best practices, 5. 3 Ibid., 6. 4 Ibid., 7. 5 Bannock, G. et al. (August 2002), 15.
Governments: do a self-assessment of your website to see it from the user’s point of view. If your business registration processes are not online, learn about solutions on GER.co.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Ann Low is Deputy Director of the Office of Investment Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, and the architect of the GER.co initiative and Go Green by 2019 campaign. She has over 25 years of experience working on multilateral and economic affairs. Ms Low has served as the US Representative to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the OECD Working Party on State Ownership and Privatization Practices, and several United Nations’ bodies (UNCTAD, UNDP, UNICEF, DHA, ECOSOC, UNGA). Ms Low graduated from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and has a Masters of Management degree from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. She has served as a visiting diplomat and adjunct professor at Columbia University. CFI.co | Capital Finance International
Businesses owners: tell us about your experiences registering a business by rating the website you used. Go to the GER homepage and click the “rate website” banner by the economy’s name. Thank you for helping the world to go green by 2019!
CFI.co Summer 2015