IdEA -- Unleashing the Power of Diaspora Entrepreneurs

Posted by Kris Balderston
November 18, 2011

Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of State joined the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Univision Networks, Kauffman Foundation, and m-Via to host Unleashing IdEA, a diaspora event launching Global Entrepreneurship Week.

It is truly an honor that the Kauffman Foundation chose our event to launch their week-long program, and it's something that we hope to make an annual tradition.

Global Entrepreneurship Week is about unleashing big ideas and doing what it takes to bring them to fruition. It is about identifying opportunities, taking risks, solving problems, being creative, and learning from both failures and successes. It is also about building connections with diverse partners, including diaspora communities.

Secretary Clinton -- and we at the Global Partnership Initiative -- strongly believe in the power of diaspora, and in the dynamic role they can play as entrepreneurs in their countries of origin.

For diaspora communities, diplomacy and development are intrinsic -- it is about their friends and families, and the homes of their forebearers.

As Secretary Clinton has said, diaspora communities are often the "first-movers" beating institutions to local challenges -- whether via humanitarian response or investment opportunities, or even non-traditional means of engagement such as arts or sports.

It is with this confidence in the power of our diaspora communities to contribute to the development of their countries of origin that Secretary Clinton launched the International Diaspora Engagement Alliance -- or IdEA -- at the first annual Global Diaspora Forum. This innovative partnership platform brings together diaspora communities, the private sector, and public institutions in a collaborative process.

In June, she announced that we are partnering with the IDB, Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), United Kingdom Department of International Development (DFID), Digicel, Scotiabank, and others on the Caribbean IdEA Marketplace. The U.S. government, through the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), is providing $50 million in support for this business plan competition for emerging diaspora entrepreneurs that will officially "open for business" on March 1 of next year.

And while Secretary Clinton was unable to join us in person this week, she announced via video message that we are now partnering with the IDB, Univision Networks, m-Via, and others to engage diaspora entrepreneurs from Central America and Mexico to support the development of diaspora-centered partnerships that promote trade and investment, entrepreneurship, and innovation in the region.

This partnership -- aptly called "La Idea" -- will establish a regional business competition initiative to support business and social entrepreneurs from the Latin American diaspora.

This partnership will provide access to capital and resources for successful participants of La Idea. Aimed to promote trade and investment between the U.S. and the region, this competition will support innovators whose projects meet the policy and credit requirements of all the partners. The U.S. government is committing $100 million from OPIC to support La Idea.

We see emerging entrepreneurs from the diaspora as changemakers not only in their communities at home, but also in their countries of origin -- and importantly, as conduits between the two. As Secretary Clinton said, through partnerships such as La Idea, we will harness their ideas, energy, and commitment to help us address some of the most complicated and pressing challenges of our time.



November 19, 2011

W.W. writes:

Idea :

high speed velocity train in the western hemisphere - train stations you in china ... europe NY mexico city in 3hrs...

interstate 60 till buenos aires...

so they all can diasporing better!!!!

New Mexico, USA
November 20, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Kris Balderston,

A little venture capital goes a long way to promoting good ideas on an economic level, but those of us out there in the private sector developing ideas for our government's application are doing it for non-profit on spec in the hopes that the return will be a better world for kids to grow up in.

And frankly we all the help we can get and material support just doesn't seem available in grant form or any other.

Give you an example (beyond the several left on Dipnote that have gotten replies in thanks)

- whether or not my blistering commentary on Russian tanks and weapons sold to Assad's regime should be repossesed by them, sent to Susan Rice @ USUN and posted as well on Dipnote had anything to do with her giving an equally blistering commentary in the UNSC post-failed resolution on Syria staing they'd rather sell weapons than do right by the people- which was virtually word for word how I'd put the matter out in public commentary.

You never know who reads these things...

But several yeas ago when the bru-ha-ha in congress was afoot over whether to fund DoD nuclear bunker-buster research and development I wrote to Don Rumsfeld at the Pentagon and explained to him in a short letter that if he wanted "deep earth penetration" that he didn't need a nuke to do that, only kinetic energy. And that he might want to go vist meteor crater out in Ariz for a visual example of the kind of impact a chunk of nickle-iron the size of the Apollo 11 command modual makes @ 15,000 MPH or so on impact.

So today I read that the DoD just succesfully tested their hypersonic global-strike weapon out in the Pacific, and it seems the DoD has taken that letter to heart and put brains to work to apply a more enviromentally sound global security posture when dealing with hard to kill bunkered targets.

So what if any funding might be avail. to folks like myself who arn't attempting to go into buisiness with an idea, but simply to change the world for the better with the seed of an idea that others who have government jobs get to earn their paycheck developing and implementing?

Does the fact that we won't have to nuke Iran to put them out of the nuclear bomb buisiness without massive collateral damage count for any micro-lending by the US dept of State to allow my brains to be put to work full-time on inspiring folks in government to think?

If there is such a program or entity in existance, please let me know where to apply, thanks.

I figure folks need all the good ideas they can get and would invest in their countrymen to supply good ones as inspiration allows.



November 20, 2011

W.W. writes:

@ Eric

one thing I always liked in yr post

...You never know who read these things...

Always wondered who u might refer


New Mexico, USA
November 22, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ WW,

My last rant to you was cancelled do was probbably too hystericaly laced with vented profundity to publish and my comments to God included might have got some humans nervous in case they published it and earned his imortal wrath, like some Danish cartoons got a publisher a fatwah on his head by a mad ayatollah who thinks he's God or at least his mouthpiece....(chuckle).

So, let's see...generally I know who I'm submitting an idea to, and the fact that there's a lot of nameless, faceless readers of this blog out there who never post comment here beyond folks in the US dept of State, or the Dipnote staff (who we know read this blog), "...You never know who read these things..." is just a statement of fact.

I'm pretty sure the staff have an idea who reads these things, but they're not telling...(chuckle).

I've called the White House to ask if President Obama reads this blog, but they're not telling....(chuckle).

I've called the Senate Foreign Affairs Committe and suggested reading this blog is a fair way to keep tabs on the Dept of State, and that they ought to read the public commentary as I'm busy trying to bust an urban myth that this government doesn't give a damn what the public thinks...and the staffer laughed and said " I will definately pass that on to the members, thank you for that!"

So it's not like I haven't tried to elevate the conversation or invite participation in the interests of a truly interactive gov.

And now that the Super committe has failed to reach agreement, those folks ought to read this blog as there's a concrete proposal to balance the budget on here that doesn't involve doing that on the backs of the American people or undermining national security or diplomacy and humanitarian aid programs globally.

Billing nations who pose threats to our peace and the rest of the world seems to be a better bet, it's just a matter of collecting.

And now that Treasury and State have announced further Sanctions on Iran and are looking at additional ways to apply financial pressure on the regime, I think it's high time I called some folks personally and pose a 32 trillion dollar solution to kill two birds with one billing cycle.

Now if that doesn't offer economic stimulous and a means to further international diplomacy to counter the grave national security threat Iran poses, then I'm afraid I'm fresh out of options to give to folks.

The way I have it figured, the longer these issues go unresolved, the better my idea will be looking to folks as a viable option, given the alternatives to domestic fiscal implosion or go to war with Iran eventually, or both.

Thing I like about your posts is your attitude.



John P.
November 22, 2011

John P. in Greece writes:

@ W.W.

QUOTE: ...You never know who read these things... God? END OF QUOTE.

With all the respect to God, I don’t know if he reads, but certainly Eric-God writes well…
…and he is thinking in a very sober and wise way!

A very tough achievement for our difficult times!

According to my opinion, when he says that “...You never know who read these things”, he is absolutely sure that hundreds of politicians and decision makers read this Blog, but they are not “brave” enough to comment and engage in dialogue.

But, they DO read. And this is important.

If you go through the DipNote archives, you’ll realize that all these years Eric has proved that “they read” and thank God, sometimes, they listen to him!

Best Regards, to both of you.

November 25, 2011

W.W. writes:

According to Eric inspiration I called in Syria and Iran

New Mexico, USA
November 25, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ John in Greece,

“Probability theory is nothing but common sense reduced to calculation” - Pierre Simon Laplace was an 18th Century French astronomer who was also the main contributor to probability theory prior to the twentieth century.

Try to imagine a situation in which the proposition H0 being tested, and a single alternative H1, would be the only possibilities, and you receive new \data" D consistent with H0: P(DjH0) ' 1. The imaginary alternative and data are to be
such that you can calculate the probability P(DjH1). Always use an H0 that you are inclined not to believe; if the proposition as stated seems highly plausible to you, then for H0 choose its denial.]

Did you get a hold of the book I suggested? You can find it on-line...may be useful.-.-.-

But that's only if I can stay up and running to continue the effort to inspire folks to think and offer ideas to my gov. which is highly doubtful at the moment.

In fact this will most likely be my last post here for quite a while barring a miracle, and I'm not God so...,

... . -- .--. . .-. / ..-. .. / .- .-.

Be well my friend,


New Mexico, USA
November 25, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ John in Greece and WW,

(from the archives of Dipnote)


Regarding "invitations" John, as you well know from your challenge to me to come up with a solution to the crisis in Somalia (which I did in 24 hours), I don't have a problem challenging the think tank community of PHD's to meet me half-way to the table in debate, and that goes for heads of state as well. I've got a bone to pick with every one of them.

I wouldn't bother to be here if I didn't think I could make a difference, but I'd like to put that to the test.


I guarrantee two things, I WILL change the nature of the global conversation by presenting a perspective on the history that can't be obtained from anyone else.

Thing is, I'm not convinced folks want to end this insanity as yet. Despite The President's speech in Prague.

Thus I'm not convinced anything I might have to say will make a difference in how folks get along eventually, but I will get folks to think about it, that much is highly probable if not problematic for some.

Perhaps that's simply a "given"...(chuckle).

Posted on Tue Aug 18, 2009



So guys, How am I doing so far on changing the nature of the conversation? (chuckle)

I don't expect to be on-line past today, so I'll try and check back later to review whatever performance evaluation might be offered, I expect it will be most entertaining one way or another.

(oh John, the dots and dashes...I'll translate that here for all to read incl. the Q&Z com. protocol)

"Semper Fi- end of transmission"

My best to both of you in this life, and if Amanutijob accepts WW's invitation, I'll be glad to read him the riot act even if I must come back from the dead to do so.


Miguel G.
Maryland, USA
December 6, 2011

Miguel G. in Maryland writes:

I am still waiting for information in regards to the IDEA program for latinamerican entrepeneurs announced on November 14, 2011.

Thank you.


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