U.S. Government Co-Hosts the 4th Annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Malaysia

Two weeks ago, the United States government teamed up with the Government of Malaysia, which hosted the 4th Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Kuala Lumpur. President Obama hosted the first Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Washington, DC in 2010, after he announced the initiative in a speech he delivered in Cairo in 2009. In those remarks, he spoke to the importance of supporting and promoting entrepreneurs at home and overseas. Innovation and entrepreneurship are cornerstones of the U.S. economy and can serve as a way of unlocking economic potential and lifting people out of poverty all over the world. Promoting entrepreneurship globally can help build more stable societies, grow markets for American goods, and advance a fundamental American value.

This year’s summit was the largest ever and brought together over 3000 entrepreneurs, investors, academics, startup organizers, business people, and government officials from more than 100 countries. They went head-to-head in pitch competitions, participated in roundtable discussions, and learned from some of the best-known entrepreneurs in the world. President Obama delivered remarks through a video message to the Summit, and Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker represented the United States and met with several young, inspired entrepreneurs themselves. In his remarks, Secretary Kerry explained why promoting entrepreneurship is so important to the Obama Administration:

Supporting your creativity and persistence is a key component of our foreign policy agenda – which today, more than ever before, is about economic policy, too. When entrepreneurs here in Malaysia succeed, I’ll tell you something; they create economic opportunity for Malaysians, of course, but also for people all over the world, including in the United States.

Americans benefit from the success of small businesses around the world through trading and collaborating with them, and by using their goods and services. So President Obama is going to continue doing everything he can to support young people who want to turn their ideas into businesses or non-profit organizations.

In this spirit, the United States announced several new initiatives to continue the President’s efforts to support entrepreneurs globally. These include the creation of the President’s Committee on Global Entrepreneurship, which will connect some of the United States’ most successful business leaders with the next generation of entrepreneurs around the globe. We are also teaming up with UP Global to train and support 500,000 new entrepreneurs in 1000 cities around the world over the next three years. Finally, the United States is supporting the creation of the Global Entrepreneurship Research Network (GERN), which will help government officials institute policies and practices that enable entrepreneurship.  These efforts will not only promote stronger startup communities abroad; they will also build on the Administration’s Startup America initiative to accelerate the success of home-grown entrepreneurs across the country. To learn more, read the Global Entrepreneurship Summit fact sheet and watch the President’s video message to the summit: 

Ben Rhodes is Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications and Speechwriting
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