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U.S.-North Africa Partnership for Economic Opportunity Entrepreneurship Delegation

Fact Sheet
Bureau of Economic, Energy and Business Affairs
October 26, 2011


Date: 10/27/2011 Description: PNB-NAPEO logo: Partners for a New Beginning, U.S.-North Africa Partnership for Economic Opportunity, The Aspen Institute NAPEO Secretariat - State Dept Image

Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia
October 27-November 2, 2011

Fast Facts

Who: 12 prominent U.S. entrepreneurs and early-stage investors, including from the North African diaspora
When: October 27-November 2, 2011
Where: Casablanca, Algiers, Tunis
Why: To foster new partnerships and build key relationships among American entrepreneurs, investors and the Maghreb’s brightest innovators

Key Highlights:
• Prizes for winning start ups in each Maghreb country
• Delegation theme is “Innovation,” defined broadly to include high-tech, clean-tech, ag-tech and bio-tech
• Start-up pitch sessions targeted at both mature start-ups and young entrepreneur teams
• Institutional and one-on-one mentoring workshops
• Visits to local business incubators
• Panel discussions with investors, NGOs, local media, and academia
• Business angel roundtables focusing on best practices
• Youth-oriented town halls highlighting Maghreb diaspora entrepreneurship success stories and experience in the United States

The U.S. Department of State and Partners for a New Beginning (PNB) are hosting an Entrepreneurship Delegation to Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia from October 27-November 2, 2011 as part of the U.S. – North Africa Partnership for Economic Opportunity (PNB-NAPEO). The goal of the delegation is to foster and deepen relationships between U.S. investors and entrepreneurs and their local counterparts in emerging markets and showcase local talent in the Maghreb. The highlight of the event will be the selection of three starts ups, one from each Maghreb country, to receive a residency and scholarship prize.

Organized in partnership with PNB-NAPEO local advisory boards in each country and managed by the State Department’s Global Entrepreneurship Program (GEP), the delegation consists of 12 prominent U.S. investors, role-model entrepreneurs, and academic leaders with experience in angel or venture investing and/or track-records as successful entrepreneurs and mentors. Some delegates are members of the Maghreb Diaspora living in the United States. The delegation’s over-arching theme will be “innovation,” defined broadly to include business sectors such as information technology, clean-tech, bio-tech and ag-tech. Many of the delegates will be technology entrepreneurs and investors from Silicon Valley, but also include representation from across the United States, including Detroit, Michigan, home to the largest Arab-American population.

The delegation will participate in pitch sessions and mentoring workshops to promote the most promising entrepreneurs in the Maghreb region. Ten to fifteen promising startups in each Maghreb country will pitch their ideas to the delegation and additional companies and young entrepreneurs will engage in one-on-one mentoring meetings. One winning start-up will be selected by the delegation in each Maghreb country to receive a three-month incubation residency prize and one-semester tuition scholarship to study entrepreneurship in the United States awarded by the Tech Town Incubator and Wayne State University in Detroit. The delegation will also host business angel roundtables and mentoring sessions with local institutions that mentor entrepreneurs themselves. In each country, the delegation will participate in town hall meetings, with youth.

Other highlights of the delegation’s visit include visits to local business incubators in each country, investor dinners hosted by the local entrepreneurs and partners on the PNB-NAPEO Boards, and receptions hosted by U.S. Ambassadors in each country.

About GEP Entrepreneur Delegations The GEP has had successful prior delegations to Egypt, Jordan, and Indonesia, resulting in several investments and mentoring matches between the delegates and promising local entrepreneurs. The July 2011 GEP Indonesia delegation culminated in the ASEAN Regional Entrepreneurship Summit in Bali where Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave the keynote address.

U.S. – North Africa Partnership for Economic Opportunity
The U.S.-North Africa Partnership for Economic Opportunity (NAPEO) is a regional public-private partnership launched by the U.S. Department of State and co-led with The Aspen Institute to promote economic opportunity through increased links between the United States and North Africa (Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, and Tunisia). It is a regional initiative within Partners for a New Beginning (PNB), a global alliance of public-private partnerships led by the CEO of The Coca-Cola Company Muhtar Kent, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and other prominent American business and civil society leaders committed to broadening and deepening engagement between the United States and local communities abroad in response to the “New Beginning” vision laid out by President Obama at Cairo University in June 2009.

What do we do?
The U.S. - North Africa Partnership for Economic Opportunity is a forum for increasing private sector and government engagement. The PNB-NAPEO business network is composed of leading American and North African companies and organizations, as well as local entrepreneurs, business leaders and partner organizations working together on local advisory boards in each country. The network is a vehicle for members in the United States and North Africa to identify, initiate, and sustain projects in North Africa that foster economic opportunity, especially for youth. The network seeks to provide access to a pipeline of locally backed projects and business ideas at the national and regional level for financing or partnership consideration. The U.S. Department of State collaborates with local governments on policies that sustain SME development, entrepreneurship and job creation, including a twice annual meeting with North African economic ministers.

Global Entrepreneurship Program
The Global Entrepreneurship Program (GEP) is a U.S. State Department-led effort to promote and spur entrepreneurship around the world using the U.S. Department of State’s unique ability to catalyse, convene and coordinate. Under the U.S. – North Africa Partnership for Economic Opportunity, GEP is the lead implementer for Department of State entrepreneurship programming.

What do we do?
Work with non-governmental partners around six key areas that are essential to creating a successful entrepreneurial ecosystem. These six areas include: identifying promising entrepreneurs, training them, connecting and sustaining entrepreneurs, guiding them to capital, advocating for supportive policy and regulations, and celebrating their successes.

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