All around the world, small and startup businesses are a critical component to a healthy and vital local economy.  In the United States and Europe, small businesses are the backbone of local economies and represent 99 percent of all businesses on both continents.  Further, new businesses create a good proportion of all job growth.

Involvement of the private sector was critical in the rebuilding of Europe decades ago, and enterprise and entrepreneurship remain crucial to building strong cities, economic vitality, and solving social problems.  Innovative governments will use all the tools they have available to provide opportunities to the broadest array of entrepreneurs possible and will benefit through social invention, job creation and low unemployment, and a city environment charged through youthful creativity.

A key component of GMF Cities’ theory of change includes “driving private sector involvement and investment toward social good” in all our projects.  We see the benefits of cross-sector collective action on everything from addressing climate change to income inequality and know the power of tapping the entire community in complex problem-solving.

Projects in Development

Employer-Led Workforce Models

GMF Cities will help U.S. employers better understand the value in investing in employer-led apprenticeships through an intensive week-long study tour to Germany and Switzerland. Key questions that will form the framework of this engagement center around how U.S. employers can play a role in and accept responsibility for training their future employees and with that, have a stake in skilling-up the U.S. workforce. Where apprenticeships in the skilled trades do exist, what is preventing apprenticeship programs from expanding into new sectors, such as medical technicians, engineers and IT, and employers taking the lead?  The study tour will provide more than just a glimpse at how apprenticeships are organized.  It will bring the relevant public and private sector stakeholders together to discuss finance, quality control of training programs, partnerships with schools, and key outcomes resulting from employer-led apprenticeships.

Additional Information
Concept Note »