Taking Time To Celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week

November 20, 2013
Secretary Kerry Listens to a Participant at the 2013 Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Malaysia

Every year in November, staff in the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs welcomes Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW). This week speaks to so many people around the world, particularly those looking to be the next great entrepreneur.

Founded by the Kauffman Foundation, Global Entrepreneurship Week helps to inspire innovators and entrepreneurs to grow through networking, mentorship, and business plan competitions.  The United States Government and our embassies abroad actively participate each year by hosting hundreds of events around the world. 

Our promotion of entrepreneurship is not limited to one week alone.  Throughout the year, our embassies and consulates host events to empower entrepreneurs to start businesses that can thrive.  Secretary Kerry attended the fourth annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit last month in Kuala Lumpur.  The White House initiated this event, hosted this year by the Government of Malaysia, brought together over 3,000 entrepreneurs, investors, academics, startup organizers, business people, and government officials from over 110 countries.  The Summit underscored our efforts to promote entrepreneurship as a solution to build stable societies, encourage economic growth, and provide opportunities for youth.

We believe in uniting young people with the power of science and technology to transform the world through start-ups from the idea stage all the way to incorporation.  These start-ups create new products, companies, and jobs, and they fuel economic growth.  They also address important developmental challenges in agriculture, energy, and healthcare, just to name a few.  I have met many young entrepreneurs from around the globe, and I’ve been impressed by their ideas and enthusiasm.

Innovation and entrepreneurship are critical to promoting prosperity around the world.  Right now, the U.S. Department of State is partnering with nearly 80 organizations to foster entrepreneurship worldwide and invent the half billion new jobs the world is expected to need by 2030.  Science, technology, and innovation have no borders.  When you’re free to pursue your own ideas and follow your dreams, it means more prosperity and progress for us all.

Innovators and entrepreneurs are the catalysts in their communities for solving challenges and boosting economic growth and stability.  The United States government will continue to support entrepreneurship around the world.  I wish these entrepreneurs the best of luck on building ideas for a brighter future.

About the Author: William E. Craft, Jr. serves as Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs.

Editor's Note: As part of Global Entrepreneurship Week, Priceline Cofounder Jeff Hoffman will hold a Facebook Q&A on the State Department's Facebook page at 11:00 a.m. EST on Thursday, November 21, 2013.  Submit your questions for him here.

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