Citing that entrepreneurs keep America vital and resilient, the United States of America today said it is committed to support entrepreneurship around the globe.
In his remarks at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, Deputy Secretary Thomas Nides for Management and Resources says President Obama and Secretary Clinton all care about entrepreneurship.
“The short answer is that entrepreneurship is at the heart of what we call Economic Statecraft, the idea that economic tools can advance our foreign policy, and that our foreign policy can accelerate economic renewal.” – Mr. Nides
He explains the US can’t have stable societies without economic opportunity, and nothing creates opportunity like entrepreneurship.
He further says just to maintain current rates of unemployment, which are already too high, the Middle East needs to create 50 to 100 million jobs by 2020.
“We can’t get there without unleashing entrepreneurship.” – Mr. Nides
Focusing young people on what they can build together peacefully is in everyone’s interest as well, he said.
In addition, promoting entrepreneurship plays to America’s strengths.
US entrepreneurship is admired around the world, even by people who dislike our politics, he pointed out.
According to Mr. Nides, in his travels, he get asked all the time: how does US create the next Silicon Valley in our country?
Bringing innovative people together helps US bridge divides and build richer, stronger ties across borders, he said.
Mr. Nides further adds many of US biggest global problems can only be solved through massive, distributed innovation – think climate change, hunger and public health.
“Entrepreneurship thrives where what you know matters more than who you know.” – Mr. Nides
Entrepreneurs are natural champions of these ideals; they crave space for creativity and possibility, he stated.
He points out these aren’t just economic ideals, they are political ideals too.
Not just American ideals, but universal ones, and entrepreneurs are among their strongest advocates, he underlined.
US Diplomacy and Entrepreneurship
According to Mr. Nides, US foreign policy is focusing on entrepreneurs through Secretary Clinton’s Economic Statecraft, President Obama’s Global Engagement agenda and many other efforts.
“But why should entrepreneurs care what diplomats have to say? What’s in it for them?” – Mr. Nides
Mr. Nides explains entrepreneurs can’t always go it alone.
Whether they know it or not, they need open, free, and fair regulatory systems and policy environments that favor risk-taking, he said.
Entrepreneurs need a business climate that makes it easy to start a business and get financing; where legal certainty increases investor confidence; and where failure is just part of the experience, not the end of a career, Mr. Nides explained.
“We promote these conditions around the world every day in our work with foreign governments.” – Mr. Nides
US also supports entrepreneurship when it fights to prevent favoritism for state-owned companies, when it prevents piracy of intellectual property, and when it fights corruption.
He cites hundreds of economic officers stationed at American Embassies and consulates around the world wake up every day asking themselves how they can help people like you.
In addition, US is innovating in how it does diplomacy, using new tools to promote entrepreneurship around the world.
The US has sponsored countless delegations of entrepreneurs, technologists, and venture capitalists to connect investors with projects, launch business competitions that will spark creativity, and shine a light on people who are making a difference.
“This is not traditional diplomacy and I think that’s a good thing.” – Mr. Nides
Finally, the US is bringing entrepreneurs together at conferences like this one to exchange ideas, make contacts, and send a simple message: entrepreneurship is important and United States is there to help.
“As Secretary Clinton has said, “Talent is universal; but unfortunately, opportunity is not.” Entrepreneurship is one of our best tools to create opportunity for everyone.” – Mr. Nides
US Entrepreneurhip programs
The African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program (AWEP) is organized by the U.S. Department of State and United States Agency for International Development (USAID), under the auspices of the State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program.
AWEP aims to empower African women entrepreneurs to become part of their national and global business network by increasing opportunities for women to use the AGOA program and expanding opportunities for exports and U.S. investment in sub-Saharan Africa.