In addition to supporting and promoting GEP Partner Programs, GEP also works with partners to create new programs.
Entrepreneurship delegations between the United States and GEP host countries are composed of 8-12 American investors, as well as American entrepreneurs who may serve as role models and mentors to local entrepreneurs.
The primary goals of the entrepreneurship delegations are to:
A nation’s economy grows when new, innovative companies get support from “angel investors” – high net worth people who make equity investments in early-stage small businesses and often serve as “venture mentors” to the entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs require capital to start, run, and expand their enterprises. One of the most important sources of seed capital in the United States and other developed economies has been the rapid rise of angel investors and networks. Over 90% of U.S. startups receive Angel funding versus 7% who ever receive traditional venture capital investment.
Collaborating with other State Department offices and by supporting several partners, we engage in programs like the African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program (AWEP). Launched in July 2010, AWEP is an outreach, education, and engagement initiative that targets African women entrepreneurs to promote business growth, increase trade both regionally and to U.S. markets through the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), create better business environments, and empower African women entrepreneurs to become voices of change in their communities. 2012-2013 partnerships currently include Intel Corporation, the ExxonMobil Foundation, Vital Voices Global Partnership, and Cherie Blair Foundation for Women.
Another initiative GEP is involved with is the Pathways Access Initiative, where we support U.S. corporations seeking supplier diversity in Latin America by certifying women-owned businesses (WOBs) qualified to supply these companies with both goods for sale, as well as products and services needed in the operation of their businesses. Through an implementer, this program will identify relevant networks of women-owned businesses that have the potential to be certified and thus qualify to do business with these major multi-nationals. This will bring a stronger trade component to the current Pathways to Prosperity program.
Annual Global Entrepreneurship Summits
The Summits bring together hundreds of entrepreneurs, investors, mentoring groups, academics, and policy makers from all over the world, to discuss topics from fostering broad-based economic growth and facilitating an entrepreneurial business climate, to supporting growth of high potential start-ups and creating jobs for millions of youth and others globally.
Three nations have already hosted Summits- Indonesia (2011), Turkey (2011), and United Arab Emirates (2012). Our next Global Entrepreneurship Summit will happen in Malaysia in the fall of this year.