US Embassies Embrace GEW Around the World
District of Columbia
Feb 22, 2012
Involvement from U.S. embassies in Global Entrepreneurship Week increased sharply last November. According to the U.S. State Department, more than 40 embassies and consulates supported and participated in local GEW events.
In Washington, D.C., officers in the Economic Bureau spoke at and attended several events, including a “D.C. Entrepreneurship Week” kick-off at Georgetown University; a panel discussion at CSIS on the role of entrepreneurship in U.S. development policy; a panel discussion on “Streamlining Innovation: Accelerating Entrepreneurship Abroad” at the Meridian International Center; a panel discussion on entrepreneurship promotion in India, hosted by The Indus Entrepreneurs (TIE); and the Future of Entrepreneurship Education Summit, hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Assistant Secretary John Fernandez participated in “Unleashing IdEA,” an event sponsored by the State Department, in cooperation with the IDB, the Kauffman Foundation, and Univision, highlighting Latino entrepreneurship, global diaspora engagement, and tools for entrepreneurs.
More impressive, however, was its involvement around the world. Highlights include:
- Embassy Bogota (Colombia) joining the International Women’s Entrepreneurship Summit in Cali and hosting a four-day program on Tech Transfers, Intellectual Property and Innovation-Based Entrepreneurship.
- Embassy Jakarta (Indonesia) held a “Shark Tank” (TV series on ABC) business plan competition, where new start-ups pitched their ideas to real investors before a live studio audience.
- Embassy Muscat (Oman) hosted a stakeholder roundtable for up-and-coming entrepreneurs and the business community to discuss challenges to starting a business and how to promote a culture of entrepreneurship.
- Embassy Tokyo (Japan) hosted its second annual U.S. Ambassador’s Award for Entrepreneurship; the winner developed software to organize business cards online.
- Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs (EUR) – Budapest (Hungary): During GEW, the Kairos Society (an international, student-led, nonprofit foundation that promotes entrepreneurship) held a two-day long event where they invited former and current State Department International Visitor and Leadership Program (IVLP) participants. Nancy Smith-Nissley of the State Department’s Economic Bureau spoke via Skype on social entrepreneurship, and Joshua Mandell, a Science and Technology Program Officer at the World Bank, discussed entrepreneurship and development. The two 20-minute lectures were followed by a lively Q&A session. The Embassy also hosted a reception launching the Entrepreneur Foundation, which was founded by recent IVLP alumnus David Maasz.
- Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs (WHA) – Lima (Peru): In honor of Global Entrepreneurship Week, the Information Resource Center in Lima hosted a webinar for women business owners featuring two prominent speakers. The first speaker, NGO project coordinator Ximena Querol, spoke about the different programs (like SALTA and Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Women) and resources that have been specifically created to assist underserved female entrepreneurs. Inés Silva, the owner of a small artisanal crafts company in the north of Peru, gave a testimonial of her experiences in the 10,000 Women program and how it benefited her company and professional development. Over 150 people from ten different regions in Peru and four other countries (Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, and the United States) participated in this webinar.
- Bureau of African Affairs (AF) – Yaounde (Cameroon): The Embassy sponsored a three-day workshop on the theme of “Entrepreneurship: the Engine of Wealth and Job Creation” during GEW. Ambassador Robert Jackson delivered opening remarks. The workshop also featured presentations by local experts various business related themes, as well as a business plan competition.
- Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs (EAP) – Tokyo (Japan): Embassy Tokyo sponsored an awards event – the second annual U.S. Ambassador’s Award for Entrepreneurship – in conjunction with GEW. The award finalists participated in a public “Elevator Pitch” event where they presented their ideas and activities to a panel of four judges convened by Japan GEW organizer William Saito. The American Chamber of Commerce in Japan, the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan, the British Council, the MIT Enterprise Forum Japan, and Ernst & Young also presented awards at the joint event. Award winners will receive mentoring from experienced entrepreneurs and other forms of support and recognition.
- Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs (EAP) - Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia): The Embassy sponsored the “Click 2.0! Start-Up Kids” entrepreneurship to get secondary school students involved in social entrepreneurship. More than 200 students from the English Access Microscholarship Program and two Musleh (Islamic) schools were divided into 4-5 person teams, each mentored by exchange program alumni, to develop and implement social entrepreneurship projects. The projects will be implemented in the weeks following the camp. Prizes will be awarded to the most outstanding projects. At a culminating Barbeque, the ambassador encouraged all the students to focus on the three “E’s” of Entrepreneurship, English, and Exchanges.
- Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs (NEA) – Cairo (Egypt): American entrepreneurial expert Peter Corbett of iStrategy Labs held workshops for young executives and students in Port Said, Zagazig, Suez, and Cairo from November 14-17. Corbett helped hundreds of young business leaders hone their business plans. He focused on new opportunities, particularly in the ICT sector.
U.S. State Department submitted this article.