• Dr. Clare Gately has been a professor of entrepreneurship and innovation and a UNITAR resource person since 2017.
  • Dr. Gately believes that UNITAR’s training programmes on entrepreneurship and innovation/leadership develop an ambitious mindset in future entrepreneurs.
  • The UNITAR programme equips learners with the tools, skills and networks that they can use to act on those ambitions.
  • Dr. Gately enjoys working with the UNITAR Hiroshima Office. The strong team has a culture of learning and of mutual support.

26 October 2023, Hiroshima, Japan - What do potential entrepreneurs in developing countries need to become future leaders? Dr. Clare Gately, professor of entrepreneurship and innovation and UNITAR resource person, believes it’s more than technical knowledge and skills. Future entrepreneurs also need the right mindset and a strong support structure.

Dr. Gately, who has been a UNITAR resource person since 2017, believes that an effective entrepreneurship training programme develops in learners an ambitious mindset with raised expectations for their enterprises. UNITAR’s programme, Entrepreneurship for Public Health and Covid-19 Recovery in Egypt, Iraq, and Lebanon does just that while equipping the learners with the tools and skills that they can use to act on those ambitions and build start-ups that can go to scale. Perhaps some learners, she muses, will one day set up multinational corporations that create foreign wealth for their countries, while making a positive social impact.

Building social capital


Young entrepreneurs also need the right social capital to help them scale their enterprises over the years – a network of contacts that enhances peer-to-peer learning and support. Dr. Gately also sees mentoring as an important part of the UNITAR programme. When skills development is combined with personal mentoring, it gives participants a rounded experience. Dr. Gately believes that bringing participants to Hiroshima for in-person learning is a powerful way to build that social capacity and social capital.

A large element of knowledge transfer occurs between participants aside from the training they get. They have their network, and they support each other. They share their resources; they share tools during the programme and beyond.” —Dr. Clare Gately, professor of entrepreneurship and innovation and UNITAR resource person

Paying attention to corporate entrepreneurs

Another facet of entrepreneurship – one that is often forgotten – that Dr. Gately builds into the UNITAR programme is corporate entrepreneurship. Corporate entrepreneurs inject entrepreneurial thinking and initiatives from within organizations. Dr Gately points out that there are those among the UNITAR learners who may not be interested in creating new businesses but are entrepreneurial and can drive innovation within their organizations. These corporate entrepreneurs are especially relevant for developing economies and their economic growth.

Showing great promise: Bringing together strong participants


Dr. Gately notes that over the years, the UNITAR programme has attracted strong, well-educated, and ambitious participants. Even at this early stage in the learners’ entrepreneurial journey, she sees them behaving like entrepreneurs.

They compete fiercely in the market, but on a personal level, they are very engaging and supportive of each other. They are very quick to transfer information and knowledge to each other. And they promised to stay in contact with each other and share contacts and tools they come across, six months, a year, two years down the road.”

Describing the learners as open-minded, embracing diversity and inclusion, and collaborative, Dr. Gately challenges them to be daring, to take action and to explore new horizons.

A great experience

Being a part of the UNITAR programme is one of Dr. Gately’s favourite things, career-wise.

It is something I speak about a lot when I’m at home and amongst my colleagues. I feel very privileged to be part of this – [what] we’re bringing to these economies and the impact these programmes are having at the country level.”

She says it is a pleasure working with the UNITAR Hiroshima Office, with its diverse and strong team, and its culture of learning and of mutual support.

As the Hiroshima Office celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2023, Dr. Gately commended UNITAR for having a positive impact on participants and their countries and wished UNITAR another 20 years of growth and great training programmes.


The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) is a dedicated training arm of the United Nations. In 2022, UNITAR trained over 395,000 learners around the world to support their actions for a better future. In addition to our headquarters in Geneva, we have offices in Hiroshima, New York and Bonn and networks around the world.

The Division for Prosperity is based in the Hiroshima Office and Geneva. We seek to shape an inclusive, sustainable and prosperous world through world-class learning and knowledge-sharing services on entrepreneurship, leadership, finance and trade, digital technologies, and nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. We empower individuals from least-developed countries, countries emerging from conflict, and small-island developing states – especially women and young people – to bring about positive change.

Share with