“Black Friday,” the day after Thanksgiving, is traditionally the first official shopping day of the Christmas season in the United States. However, for the past three years, a new tradition developed. In cities and towns across America, people will go into “mom and pop” stores not only to get their Christmas shopping done, but also to support small businesses. The President, the Senate, and the House of Representatives have all endorsed Small Business Saturday because they recognize that small businesses are the engine of innovation and growth in any economy, and that they generate many pioneering ideas. The United States was founded by people who believed in the power of new ideas to change the world.
The State Department also believes in the power of innovation to change the world, and that is why we support global entrepreneurship. The best ideas of the 21st century are going to come from small business owners in every nation; entrepreneurs like Nermin Sa’d, a Jordanian engineer who realized she could allow other female engineers to observe cultural norms by working from home through an online platform; or Tonee Ndugu of Kenya, whose electronic textbook business not only makes education cheaper, it makes it accessible to whole levels of society which have never been able to change their position in life before. Entrepreneurship isn’t just a means towards economic growth, it is a path to breaking down social barriers and realizing one’s full potential. In the global economy of the 21st century, unrealized potential in one part of the world is a lost opportunity for the entire system. When we support Saimum Hossein, a 24-year old Bangladeshi whose drive to put roofs over his countrymen’s heads led him to invent a plant-based corrugated sheet, the entire world benefits from his idea. That is why the United States is committed to supporting entrepreneurs all over the world to achieve their potential and implement the big ideas that will create greater prosperity for us all in the 21st century. What have we committed to? Watch this video to find out and share it with anyone you know whose small business idea could become the next big idea for the world.
About the Author: Srinivas Kulkarni serves in the U.S. Department of State's Office of Digital Engagement.