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Office of the Press Secretary

FACT SHEET: Global Entrepreneurship Summit

Innovation and entrepreneurship are cornerstones of the U.S. economy.  The Obama Administration has actively supported small businesses and individuals in the United States looking to launch new enterprises.  In developing countries and emerging markets, entrepreneurship can serve as the key to unlocking economic potential and lifting people out of poverty.  We have seen this dynamic at work in many countries around the world, including in Southeast Asia and the Middle East and North Africa, where the creativity and dynamism of their populations create the foundation for entrepreneurial activities to flourish. 

Since President Obama announced the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in his Cairo speech in 2009, the United States has expanded programs and built a broad coalition of governments, business people, civil society, investors, and academics to educate and support entrepreneurs around the world.  The Global Entrepreneurship Summit is central to this effort.  This year’s Global Entrepreneurship Summit brings together over 3,000 entrepreneurs, investors, academics, startup organizers, business people, and government officials from over 100 countries.  It kicked off with a three day pre-summit, Global Startup Youth, which brought over 500 young people from over 90 countries together to formulate ideas and launch new ventures designed to tackle major global problems.  Learn more.

Access to finance remains a constraint for many aspiring entrepreneurs and the unbanked, particularly in countries where financial markets are less developed.  The United States understands the importance of building sound financial markets that provide a range of products to micro, small and medium-sized businesses, including Islamic finance products, which offer a unique source of capital to entrepreneurs in Muslim-majority countries where access to capital is low, and existing financial products do not always align with religious beliefs or cultural norms.  In this context, the United States Government is exploring opportunities to engage with organizations such as the Islamic Financial Services Board to support efforts that promote the growth of the Islamic finance sector in a well-regulated, sound, and transparent manner. 

Catalyzing partnerships to create, educate and inspire new entrepreneurs

  • A collaboration between the U.S. government and UP Global to support and train 500,000 new entrepreneurs in the next three years:  The United States Government is supporting UP Global’s efforts to reach 1,000 cities and provide support to and train half a million entrepreneurs by 2016 by connecting them to the U.S. Government’s global network.  Learn more.
 
  • Announcing the President’s Committee on Global Entrepreneurship:  The Administration is establishing the President’s Committee on Global Entrepreneurship (PCGE) to promote and champion entrepreneurship at home and abroad.  PCGE will be chaired by the Secretary of Commerce and will consist of a diverse group of some of the United States’ most prominent entrepreneurs, in addition to the Secretary of State and USAID Administrator.  Committee members will mentor young entrepreneurs, promote startup culture, and activate their networks to accelerate entrepreneurship. 

Expanding access to capital for entrepreneurs

  • Leveraging nearly $500 million in private capital for underserved entrepreneurs: The United States Government is collaborating with 30 financial institutions to leverage $495.8 million in private capital for underserved entrepreneurs in developing countries around the world through its Development Credit Authority.  This will provide increased access to finance for 11,000 small business owners, and, through cascading credit, is expected to impact 1.7 million additional lives.
 
  • Partnering with the Calvert Foundation to Launch Diaspora Impact Investment Initiative.  With the Calvert Foundation serving as its newly-announced Managing Partner, the International Diaspora Engagement Alliance (IdEA) will launch a Diaspora Investment Initiative.  This initiative will focus on establishing an ecosystem of programs that will enable the U.S. diaspora to promote entrepreneurship, innovation, and investment and to make impact investments in their countries of heritage. 

Making governments work for entrepreneurs

  • Formation of a new research network:  In support of the U.S. Government’s efforts to promote entrepreneurship domestically and overseas, the Kauffman Foundation has joined forces with the World Bank, Endeavor Insight, the Argidius Foundation, the Lemelson Foundation, Omidyar Network, and NESTA to launch the Global Entrepreneurship Research Network (GERN), aimed at generating useful and actionable knowledge for policymakers and entrepreneurs around the world.  Learn more.
    • Actionable data for policymakers:  Today, GERN is releasing the first of a set of global entrepreneurship scorecards for more than twenty countries, a tool for governments to see how they fare on selected measures of entrepreneurship.
    • A forum for collaboration:  At this year’s Global Entrepreneurship Summit, the Kauffman Foundation hosted the first-ever GES policy roundtable to give academics, government officials, and business people a platform to discuss how 

Catalyzing social entrepreneurs

  • Catalyzing Entrepreneurial Solutions to Global Development Challenges:  With an initial investment of $3 million, the United States Government is launching the Partnering to Accelerate Entrepreneurship (PACE) initiative to support the creation, incubation, and scale-up of promising, high-growth entrepreneurial ventures that have the potential to lift some of the poorest communities in the world out of poverty.  Over the next three years, PACE will test and scale innovative models for incubating and catalyzing private investment into promising early stage enterprises in developing countries, including entrepreneurs pursuing market-based solutions to development challenges in the areas of food security, global health, and energy access.
 
  • Creation of the Beehive Incubator Center in Malaysia:  The United States in collaboration with the Government of Malaysia, Wow Labs, Babson College, and Universiti Malaysia Kelatan will open Beehive Malaysia in the summer of 2014, a collaborative shared workspace for young entrepreneurs to address social, economic, and environmental challenges.  

  • “Priming the Pump” Global Development Alliance:  The United States announces a new $4.1 million Global Development Alliance with Echoing Green, Newman’s Own Foundation, General Atlantic, Pershing Square Foundation, and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors to jointly invest in young social entrepreneurs working in developing countries who are pioneering innovative new solutions to major development challenges.  Involved partners will offer seed funding and technical assistance to social entrepreneurs, disseminate entrepreneurship best practices through their networks, and organize local conferences – “priming the pump” to build a strong ecosystem for social entrepreneurship in developing countries. 

Training tomorrow’s innovators

  • Arizona State University (ASU) to launch National Entrepreneurship Incubator Network in Malaysia:  Through a partnership facilitated by the United States Government, ASU and a Malaysian incubator team are launching a national entrepreneurship incubator network in Malaysia.  Together, they are establishing an unprecedented network of six centers across three Malaysian cities to deliver training and materials to increase the likelihood of entrepreneurial success in Malaysia – and enhance opportunities for Malaysian entrepreneurs in the U.S.  The partnership plans to expand the network across ASEAN countries, furthering regional entrepreneurial collaboration.
 
  • Training new entrepreneurs globally:  The Administration is working with major companies to build technology skills and foster entrepreneurship.  In 2013, the United States Government led a high-tech delegation to Burma to explore joint opportunities to bring affordable access to the Internet and improve workforce training programs. As part of this effort, Cisco systems established two Networking Academies in Burma, focused on building foundational ICT knowledge, while also developing skills in problem-solving, collaboration, and critical thinking.  In Mexico, the United States Government and Cisco are collaborating to build technology and entrepreneurship skills in three northern Mexican cities.  This partnership will help develop and test models to mitigate the community-level impact of crime and violence and increase youth capacity to play a constructive role in their communities.
 
  • Burma Entrepreneurship Center of Excellence: In Burma, the United States Government is bringing together Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business with Hewlett Packard to establish an Entrepreneurship Center of Excellence at Yangon Institute of Economics.  The school will be equipped with the tools, capacity, and resources to support entrepreneurship and the development or expansion of micro, small and medium enterprises, particularly in sectors that will foster inclusive economic growth with a focus on women and youth.  This is a three-year, $2 million project. 

Extension of Information & Communications Technology (ICT) Project in Tunisia:  The United States Government will be extending the successful ICT project in Tunisia with an initial investment of approximately $3 million, to be built on over three years.  The project will provide technical assistance to export-oriented ICT firms, ICT SME financing, and local entrepreneurship training. Additionally, the program will develop Tunisia’s workforce in the ICT sector and work to improve the business-enabling environment for ICT growth including focusing on public-private sector dialogues and policy and regulatory reform.

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