ENTERWeb, The Enterprise Development Website, was an annotated meta-index and information clearinghouse on enterprise development, business, finance, international trade and the economy in this new age of cyberspace and globalization.
Their main focus is on micro, small and medium scale enterprises, cooperatives, community economic development, self-employment both in developed and developing countries. ENTERWeb lists and rates Internet resources in these areas, and complements search engines by providing shortcuts in identifying important sources of information.
In other words, ENTERWeb acts as Knowledge Portal for Small Business, a single dispatching window of information which will direct anyone looking for information related to enterprise development, business and international trade to the best places on the web most likely to respond to their needs.
Why Was ENTERWeb Popular?
The answer is simple: with more than 2 billion of Internet users and about 50 billion webpages indexed by Google when the site first launched, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find quickly important and relevant information.
Try making a search with any of the major search engines, using keywords related to enterprise development such as entrepreneurship or international trade. You are likely to get in excess of 90 million results. Are you going to look at everyone of them? obviously not. In fact surveys show that most people rarely go beyond the 20 site mark.
Try an other test. Look at the best 10 sites listed in each of the various ENTERWeb categories. Do they appear when you do a search ? certainly not all of of them, if you are lucky one or two,. There you have the answer: ENTERWeb is a guide which has been developed to provide value added to searching of quality information.
Who owned ENTERWeb?
ENTERWeb was a personal, private website singlehandedly owned, designed, funded, operated and maintained by Jean-Claude Lorin
ENTERWeb has always been developed outside of normal working hours, mostly during the evenings and weekends, and all related costs have been and are paid by the owner. ENTERWeb was registered as a trademark under Canadian law.
Mission and Objectives
The primary objective of ENTERWeb is to act as an information broker which will provide to enterprise development practitioners, policy makers, academics and small business owners an annotated list of Internet resources giving substantive information on enterprise development topics including finance and credit, technology and technology transfer, management training, self-employment, business centers and advisory services, entrepreneurship development and incubators, community economic development, credit unions and cooperatives, education and vocational training, marketing and trade, business networks and information resources, business law and cyberbusiness, enterprise development policies, economics, enterprise and environment, business news, women and enterprises, socialmedia and small business etc.
The objective is for each individual topic to identify what are the best sites on the web with regards to that particular topic and to give enough general information on each site so that one would know whether or not they should visit it
In addition, ENTERWeb aims to provide business related information and links on a country by country basis, mostly for developing countries and emerging markets.
How to use ENTERWeb?
Useful Tip for efficient browsing: 1) Choose the site you want to explore, 2) Right click on its name, 3) Choose open link in new tab, 4) Go to newly opened tab and enjoy exploring the site, 5) Return to the original tab and resume the visit of ENTERWeb.
There are several ways to find information using ENTERWeb. Going to the main menu and identifying the topic of interest is the most efficient route but you can also go to the geographical areas or to the What’s New section
The following might help you with the various topics
sites relating to entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship development, enterprise creation, young entrepreneurs, startup education, training for young entrepreneurs
sites relating to finance and banking, investors, investments, stock markets, foreign investments, capital market. In other words everything related to broad financial matters.
sites relating to management, management development, management issues, standards.
Marketing & Trade
sites relating to foreign trade, markets, exports, trade information systems, trade laws, international trade, globalization, trade agreements. All sites related to the UN system and international trade would be in that section.
Business centers and advisory services
sites relating to provision of advisory services to small business, business information useful to SMEs, Internet resources for enterprises, business service centers, magazines providing solutions to small business. This is the place where you would find information on how to start, manage and operate a business.
Education & training
sites relating to business training, vocational training, enterprise education, training resources, business schools.
sites relating to technology transfer, appropriate technology, technology institutes, technology development
sites relating to business incubators and employment creation, self-employment initiatives.
sites relating to cyberbusiness, electronic commerce, setting up a business on the web.
sites relating to business and trade laws, copyright, trademark, intellectual property, law resources.
sites relating to sources of business news.
sites related to the field of knowledge based economy and knowledge management in the new information society.
sites relating to Internet resources in Economics, economics institutes, sources of information related to the various facets of Economics, economics research.
sites relating to policies for enterprise development, think tanks, public policies, policy research, international studies. This where you would find the World Bank and other donors policies for private sector development.
Business networks & information resources
sites relating to business networks and networking but also all sites acting as business information resources, information clearinghouses, business libraries, Internet resources catalogues, meta-indexes. Sites having a similar or related objective to ENTERWeb would be in that section
Women and enterprises
sites relating to women entrepreneurs, women in business, resources for businesswomen, women and technology, etc.
sites relating to microcredit and microfinance, microenterprises, informal finance.
sites providing information on donor agencies activities in the area of enterprise development.
Enterprise and environment
sites relating to the interface between the enterprise and the environment, environmental technology, business and environment, environmental law, standards, waste prevention, industrial pollution.
International business research
sites relating to research in social, economic and technological development as well as research in business matters.
Community economic development
sites relating to community economic development, local development, social economy, employment creation, etc.
Credit unions and cooperatives
sites relating to the cooperative movement, cooperative associations, etc.
Bibliography & documents
sites relating to publications in the field of enterprise development.
sites relating to globalization and globalization issues.
sites relating to competitive intelligence, strategic intelligence, economic intelligence and business intelligence.
sites relating to on self-employment and the self-employed.
lists and rates Internet resources related to business ethics, ethical business and corporate social responsibility.
lists and rates Internet resources related to the field of Social Media and Small Business.
Culture and Business
lists and rates Internet resources related to business and culture, cultural diversity, cross-cultural and intercultural communication and understanding.
In addition to going directly to the topic of your choice, or exploring the site on a geographical basis, you can also click on the What’s New image on the left. This will lead you to a list of the recently added sites. On average 15/20 new sites are reviewed each month. Do not forget to send us your suggestions. A little bit of history
Like I guess a lot of people, I had my first taste of the Internet back in the fall of 1994 when Netscape 1.0 was released in beta form. Very quickly my interest turned to discussion groups which I saw as having tremendous potential in terms of networking and information sharing and in mid 1995 I launched ENTER-L a discussion group on enterprise development in developing countries (ENTER for ENTERprise) which generated immediate interest with membership quickly growing to over 400 professionals all over the world. This discussion group is now unfortunately defunct due to a long period of inactivity
At the same time, I had been slowly collecting bookmarks related to the issue of enterprise development, and thinking about setting up a presence on the web. With the explosion of the number of websites and the difficulty of getting the right information with search engines because of the sheer number of responses they would provide, I felt that there was a need for an information clearinghouses which would complement search engines and provide a shortcut to key information sources.
After carefully thinking about the structure of the website (based on the core functions of an enterprise), finding a name (ENTERWeb was a natural choice after ENTER-L) I decided to take the most difficult step: learn the basics of HTML programming. After a lot of hard work and late nights and some welcomed outside help for the letters of the ENTERWeb logo (Thanks to Hugo Dominguez) I was able to officially open ENTERWeb on January 15th 1996 as a bilingual (French/English) website on enterprise development in developed and developing countries.
It has since continued to expand and to grow, with geographical sections being created for Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America, new topics identified and new sites being added since February 1997 (for a total of over 800 sites). In July 1997, I registered ENTERWeb as a domain name and moved it to a server in Nova Scotia, Canada.
Unfortunately, the site went offline in late 2018. It was perhaps the first site I ever bookmarked back in college outside of the main search engines.