Entrepreneurship plays a key role in developing successful, innovative and cohesive societies.
In his speech at the University of Cairo in June 2009, President Barack Obama pledged to host a Summit on Entrepreneurship in order “to identify how we can deepen ties between business leaders, foundations and social entrepreneurs in the United States and Muslim communities around the world.” The first Global Entrepreneurship Summit took place the following April, and since then, the conference has been held annually.
“When President Obama announced the creation of this Summit in Cairo four years ago, he did so because he understands that freedom of opportunity is humanity’s most powerful motivator,” explained Secretary of State John Kerry at the fourth Global Entrepreneurship Summit, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in mid-October.
Representing President Obama at the Summit, Secretary Kerry highlighted the key role entrepreneurship plays in developing successful, innovative and cohesive societies, and the importance placed on entrepreneurship within U.S. foreign policy.
Secretary Kerry emphasized that entrepreneurship is about more than money, it is “about how you build a society that values competition and compassion at the same time.” Secretary Kerry also noted that “Americans benefit from the success of small businesses around the world through trading and collaborating with them, and by using their goods and services,” and announced several U.S. initiatives to “support young people who want to turn their ideas into businesses or non-profit organizations.”
First, the United States State Department and Up Global are forming a new collaboration, which will support and train half a million entrepreneurs in 1,000 cities around the world.
Second, the United States will launch the President’s Committee on Global Entrepreneurship as part of an initiative to connect new entrepreneurs with mentors who will act as role models, partners, teachers, and as champions.
And finally, to ensure that governments support entrepreneurs, the United States is joining forces with organizations like the Kauffman Foundation, the World Bank, and others in order to create a new research network that will help policymakers promote growth and start-ups.
“The United States is doing all that we can to support you because we know that the best ideas are never bound by borders,” said Secretary Kerry. “That is what will shape global economic prosperity and opportunity for generations to come.”