Outreach to small and medium-sized businesses is an important priority for this administration. President Obama often speaks of the power that small businesses have in driving our economic recovery. In a speech to small business leaders earlier this year, the President said:
Small businesses are the heart of the American economy... They’re not only job generators, they’re also at the heart of the American Dream. After all, these are businesses born in family meetings around kitchen tables. They’re born when a worker takes a chance on her desire to be her own boss. They’re born when a part-time inventor becomes a full-time entrepreneur, or when somebody sees a product that could be better or a service that could be smarter, and they think, "Well, why not me? Let me try it. Let me take my shot.
It was with this sentiment in mind that on Wednesday, the White House Office of Public Engagement welcomed over a hundred women entrepreneurs working in life science companies. The enthusiastic group came to us from Springboard Enterprises, a support organization for entrepreneurial ventures led by women.
Elizabeth Vale, our Business Liaison in the Office of Public Engagement greeted the group and introduced their board chair, Kay Koplovitz. Kay is the founder of USA Networks and the first woman to found a major television company. She is very passionate about the power of women in business and innovation and was a great kick-off to the meeting.
The women of Springboard then heard details of the President’s agenda in science and technology, health care and energy. They had a chance to ask questions and share ideas with some of the Administration’s leading experts on those issues, including Tom Kalil, Deputy Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology, Kavita Patel, Director of Policy for the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs and Heather Zichal, Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change.
Pam Contag, the CEO of Cygnet Biofuels and one of Springboard’s many innovative entrepreneurs, ended the exciting afternoon with an update about some of the new approaches her company is taking on energy. It was a great closing to an informative meeting.
Entrepreneurship and innovation have been consistent forces in the growth and prosperity of America. President Obama and his administration understand this and are committed to helping our nation’s entrepreneurs and innovators create jobs and grow our economy.