Secretary Clinton Delivers Remarks at Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
April 28, 2010

On April 27, 2010, Secretary Clinton delivered the closing remarks at the 2010 Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship. The Secretary said:

“[T]his summit reflects the new approach to foreign policy that President Obama described last year at Cairo University, one that we have been putting into practice through partnerships based on shared values, mutual respect, and mutual responsibility. These partnerships are not only with governments, but they are with citizens like all of you who can help us generate local, regional, and global progress. So far, we have developed initiatives that will build on the work of this summit and support entrepreneurs worldwide in the months and years ahead.

"And here are some of the outcomes of this summit, as to what the United States intends to do. First, we are launching the Global Entrepreneurship Program. That's an initiative that will provide concrete support to new entrepreneurs, starting in Muslim-majority communities and eventually expanding to others worldwide. Through this program, we will work with the United States private sector partners and local businesses, along with civil society groups, to help create successful entrepreneurial environments. We will help sponsor business plan competitions to identify and support promising ideas. We will work to expand access to capital so entrepreneurs with a sound business concept will have access to credit to enable them to put their ideas to work. We will facilitate partnerships between business schools in the United States and educational institutions worldwide to share knowledge and help strengthen business education. We will support mentoring programs so someone starting out can benefit from the experience of someone who's been down that road before.

"I'm pleased to announce the launch of the Global Entrepreneurship Program's first pilot program, in Egypt, coordinated by a team of Entrepreneurs in Residence from USAID. We will soon launch our second program in Indonesia, and we plan to expand to a dozen countries within the next two years. (Applause.)

"Second, we have established partnerships with two Silicon Valley-based organizations: the Global Technology and Innovation Partners, and the Innovators Fund. Both were started by U.S. venture capitalists and business leaders inspired by President Obama's call at Cairo to support innovation and entrepreneurship in Muslim majority communities worldwide. Both partnerships will launch in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, and Malaysia, and will then expand from there. (Applause.)

"These new efforts will help increase access to seed funding, venture capital, and Silicon Valley's technology and business expertise. The State Department will help facilitate this effort by connecting these funds with local partners and institutions. Now, our partnerships are inclusive. We seek to work with a wide range of private sector groups that are looking to support entrepreneurs worldwide.

"We will also be working to implement an exciting partnership that I launched this morning. Together with former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, I announced a collaboration between the State Department and a new group called Partners for a New Beginning. This is a team of eminent Americans from across sectors and industries who will lead an effort to engage the U.S. private sector in carrying out our vision for a new beginning with Muslims in communities globally.

"For example, they might reach out to companies to provide equipment and technology for the Scientific Centers of Excellence overseas, or help launch internships and mentoring programs for emerging business leaders, or encourage angel investors in this country to partner with angel investors abroad. Through collaborations like these, Partners for a New Beginning will deepen ties between our people and institutions, and give more Americans the chance to contribute to this common endeavor.

"Partners for a New Beginning will be chaired by Secretary Albright. Its vice chairs will be Walter Isaacson, the president of the Aspen Institute, and Muhtar Kent, the chairman and CEO of Coca-Cola Company. And I want to thank them for their commitment and I really hope that this effort will inspire similar efforts from private sector leaders around the world.

"Fourth, I'm pleased to announce the launch of a new effort to expand access to mentors for aspiring and emerging entrepreneurs. We're calling it the e-Mentor Corps. Mentors provide invaluable support and advice, but for too many entrepreneurs, good mentors are hard to find. You may be doing something that nobody else you know has ever attempted before. Through the e-Mentor Corps, an entrepreneur seeking a mentor can go online and find a person with the expertise they need on everything from securing financing to writing a business plan.

"Several private sector groups have pledged to supply mentors from their global networks, including Intel, Ernst & Young, the Kauffman Foundation, Endeavor, TechWadi, the Young Presidents' Organization, and Babson College. The State Department has worked with several existing groups to create and develop online portals for the e-Mentor Corps. And in the days ahead, we will post links to those sites on the State Department homepage. We will also email you and other partners with the details of how to sign up. And we hope that in the future, each of you can become a mentor as well. The success of this program depends on its participants, and I urge you to join and to encourage others to do the same.

"Now, these initiatives comprise a first wave of programs to promote global entrepreneurship. But they reflect the Obama Administration's commitment to a new approach to development, one based on investment, not aid; on supporting local leadership and ideas rather than imposing our own. We believe that this approach is more likely to yield lasting results in the form of greater security, dignity, prosperity, and opportunity for more people worldwide."Read the Secretary's full remarks here.


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