This week, U.S. government officials, investors, entrepreneurs, NGO leaders, and policy makers from more than 50 countries are gathering in Dubai, United Arab Emirates for the third annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit. President Obama announced the creation of this annual event during his 2009 speech at Cairo University in Egypt, and he hosted the inaugural Summit in Washington, D.C. in 2010.
In Cairo, the President pledged to pursue a new partnership between the United States and the Muslim world based on mutual interest and mutual respect. At the core of that vision was the need to build stable societies that provide broad-based opportunity for people to pursue their aspirations and shape their destiny. At the time, the President noted that innovation and entrepreneurship were a key part of unlocking the potential of the Middle East and of millions of young people yearning for opportunity.
Since then, dramatic changes across the region have only underscored the importance of this work. As the President notes in his video address to this year's Summit, "...Just as democratic revolutions can be triggered by a lack of opportunity, democratic progress will depend on economic growth that is broad and sustained. And that demands entrepreneurs."
Over the past four years, this Administration has worked to leverage America's entrepreneurial strength in support of our foreign policy. We have strived to build the skills, networks, regulatory environments, and access to capital necessary to realize the potential and aspirations of up-and-coming entrepreneurs. We have linked them with U.S. investors and entrepreneurs to unlock their pooled potential and to expand the frontiers of innovation and commerce.
This week's Summit provides an opportunity to build on this progress, bringing together over 1,000 global leaders to forge deeper partnerships across borders and cultures and to accelerate global economic growth.
Editor's Note: This entry also appears on the White House Blog.