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Diplomacy in Action

Partnering With the Global Entrepreneurship Program

Date: 01/22/2012 Description: Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs Lorraine Hariton presenting on the State Department's entrepreneurship and job creation programs at the Global Competitiveness Forum in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on January 22, 2012.  - State Dept ImageThe Global Entrepreneurship Program (GEP) seeks to assemble organizations outside of the U.S. Government who already offer one or more programs to promote entrepreneurship.

Partners include:

  • NGOs who work in any aspect of entrepreneurship promotion,
  • Colleges and universities who provide specialized education for entrepreneurship,
  • Corporations who consider promoting entrepreneurship to be an important goal – either as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs or their mainstream business,
  • Foundations who work in promoting entrepreneurship, and
  • Investors and financial institutions that have a particular focus on investing in start-ups and small/medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in emerging market countries.

Virtually all GEP partners are already active in entrepreneurship promotion activities. Thus, in an effort to develop entrepreneurship ecosystems, GEP partner organizations are asked to deepen their programs in current countries of operation, or expand to other countries. GEP provides a network of like-minded organizations who share GEP’s main goals and vision, and has a unique ability to play a role as catalyzer, convener, and coordinator via its embassies and missions.

Through these partnerships, GEP fosters entrepreneurship in seven areas:

  1. Identify experienced and potential entrepreneurs through in-country relationships with schools, colleges, science and technology institutes, civic organizations, and business associations.
  2. Train entrepreneurs through in-country and U.S. training programs.
  3. Connect and sustain by encouraging networking, mentoring, incubating, and accelerator programs in addition to coordinating entrepreneurship missions in-country, regionally, and with U.S. mentors
  4. Fund by connecting private sources of finance to potential entrepreneurs, such as the creation of angel investor networks, promoting crowdfunding and by mentoring entrepreneurs in developing their own capital funding strategies and skills.
  5. Enable by fostering an enabling policy environment. Use U.S. diplomatic advocacy and foreign assistance to support financial, legal, policy, and regulatory reforms that will encourage private sector development and ease entrepreneurs’ access to capital.
  6. Guide to market access by working with international partners that provide certification, resources, mentoring and peer/corporate connections for export-ready businesses.
  7. Celebrate the accomplishments of local entrepreneurs to encourage the development of an entrepreneurial culture through an annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit, follow-on conferences, and webinars.

For more information on GEP, please contact us at


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