Global Entrepreneurship Program
Dear GEP Partners and Friends,
As you can imagine, the first half of 2011 has proved busy for the GEP. The events in the Middle East and North Africa have confirmed for many the need for supportive programming around entrepreneurship in order to spur economic development and create desperately needed jobs. GEP and its partners are poised to play a critical role in the transition and economic recovery of countries throughout the region. Our partner network is also growing to more effectively support entrepreneurs in Egypt in addition to GEP’s other focus countries - Indonesia, Turkey, and the Maghreb. Amongst our newest partners are Angelsoft, Microsoft’s ImagineCup, Riyada Enterprise Development Ltd., Bamyan and the Hatchery.
In a speech on April 12, Secretary Clinton outlined the U.S. commitment and strategy in the region: “The United States will be working with people and leaders to create more open, dynamic, and diverse economies where there can be more inclusive prosperity. As Egypt and Tunisia continue building their democracies, we will work with our partners to support an ambitious blueprint for sustainable growth, job creation, investment, and trade.” Secretary Clinton specifically named the GEP as part of this strategy.
In addition to our work in Egypt and other parts of North Africa, we’re preparing for a series of entrepreneurship-related events in Indonesia. In May, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) will host the “Access to Opportunity in Southeast Asia” Conference in Indonesia. For the first time ever, I am excited to share that this conference will include a section on startup finance. GEP Indonesia (GEPI) is also in full-swing preparing for the Regional Entrepreneurship Summit in Bali, July 23-24. The seminal event, hosted by the Indonesian Ministry of Trade, will bring together entrepreneurs, experts and investors from the 10 ASEAN countries as well as China and India to lift the profile of entrepreneurship and define key strategies to boost entrepreneurship development in these countries.
At the same time, at GEP headquarters in Washington, we have been preparing for the next Entrepreneurship Delegation to Indonesia, which will be held in the days leading up to the Summit, July 19-21. As I’ve shared in previous newsletters, these delegations are an incredible experience with real outcomes. I encourage you to read more about our delegations here in the newsletter and either nominate candidates or apply yourself to join us for Indonesia or one of our future delegations to the Maghreb and Turkey later this year.
If the beginning of this year is any indication, this will be a very exciting year for all of us! We look forward to our continued work together.
Steven R. Koltai
Senior Advisor for Entrepreneurship
The Global Entrepreneurship Program (GEP) is a U.S. State Department-led effort to promote and spur entrepreneurship around the world. The U.S. Department of State has the unique ability to play the role of convener, coordinator and connector.
Leveraging this ability, the GEP marshalls primarily nongovernmental 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.
Haytham ElFadeel is a 21-year-old entrepreneur from Alexandria, Egypt. Along with his brother, Ashraf, Hytham founded Kngine (http://kngine.com), a breakthrough semantic search engine.
Can you give us an update of what has happened to Kngine since the GEP Delegation?
We received an investment from Sarwari Ventures* and one of the GEP delegates might also make an investment. This investment would include a trip to Silicon Valley where we would be introduced to other companies.
So the GEP Delegation was a positive experience for you?
Absolutely! I have been overloaded, It was an amazing experience; it shows I have developed a real concrete product.
With the award money that you won from GEP showcase event what have you done with this?
We invested in Servers and hired some more engineers. Our business is all about building server capacity.
On the marketing /sales side how is business?
We were able to close a deal with one of the major local operators, we were in talks with another international operator but the revolution slowed that down.
What else do you need help with?
We need more knowledge around marketing and sales.
*Sawari Ventures is a GEP Partner and was the lead private sector partner on the GEP Egypt Delegation.
Read more about Haytham ElFadeeel and Kngine here.
Indonesia, Turkey, and the Maghreb
We are excited to announce the next GEP Entrepreneurship Delegation to Indonesia, July 19-22, 2011. This delegation is the third in a series of delegations that GEP has led over the past year to raise the profile of entrepreneurship in emerging markets around the world. GEP first traveled to Lebanon and Jordan in June 2010. In January, 12 prominent U.S. investors and entrepreneurs traveled to Cairo, Egypt during what was to become a historic time for change in the country.
These entrepreneurship delegations have become a signature program for the GEP because of the tangible outcomes, palpable excitement often covered extensively by international media. Entrepreneurship delegations are not just about high-level meetings, although each delegation does meet with high-level, host country officials. Rather, the main activity of the delegations is meeting the best entrepreneurs in a country.
The delegation mission is to showcase world-class entrepreneurs and the related investment opportunities that exist in emerging markets. At the same time, we want to show in-country entrepreneurs the global network encouraging and supporting their work.
The past trips to Jordan, Lebanon, and Egypt have resulted in substantial investment in the countries’ start-up community both financially and in-kind (e.g. mentoring relationships). Delegates, as well, gain much from the experience in the form of better understanding of emerging markets, investment opportunities and newfound relationships with entrepreneurs. As Austin Ligon, legendary entrepreneur and investor said after returning from Egypt, “the GEP Entrepreneurship Delegation was the most useful trip I’ve taken in the past five years.”
Delegations are hosted and organized by the U.S. Department of State, Embassies in-country, and often a lead private sector partner or host government ministry. GEP partners also play a critical role, from submitting candidates to participating in, hosting and joining many of the activities over the course of the trip.
In Indonesia, similar to other delegations, the trip will be organized around a GEP Entrepreneur Show- case, highlighting the entrepreneurial talent in-country. Over the course of the three days, delegates will be pitched to, mentor startups and meet with key stakeholders to gain a better understanding of the business climate.
In addition to Indonesia, this calendar year we will also be leading delegations to Turkey as well as Morocco and Tunisia.
We are currently accepting nominations for delegates, including self-nominations for all three delegations. To receive more information on the delegations and the nomination process, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
NOTE: Delegates pay for all their own expenses (travel and hotel). Most meals during the Delegation are provided.
Since December 2010, the Economic section at Embassy Athens has been meeting with young entrepreneurs on a regular basis. According to Adair Hamilton, Commercial Public Diplomacy Officer, “We have been particularly interested in meeting individuals who have, against some tough odds here in the Greek market and business environment, managed to start their own companies.” This group’s purpose is to serve as a sounding board on the real economy and for Embassy officers to gain a better understanding of what needed to do to encourage growth, and help advocate appropriately.
On March 31st, Ambassador Smith hosted a group of 15 of these young entrepreneurs to discuss the real economy and their views on the business climate in Greece. Although many problems such as a burdensome bureaucracy, changing and contradictory laws, the high cost of financing, and a “fear of failure” mentality were listed as impediments to doing business and pursuing start-ups in Greece, it was generally agreed that the current economic crisis can also be a time of opportunity. The Ambassador encouraged the group to look for opportunity in the current situation and offered Embassy support, stressing that entrepreneurs have a key role to play in building the new Greek economy, as entrepreneurs in the United States continue to help the recovery of the U.S. economy.
The “Bid-Ask” Section allows GEP partners to offer resources and/or express a need in order to leverage the group’s resources and capture synergies. Through the exchange of ideas, experiences, and expertise, partners can expand their personal knowledge and learning and explore new ways to accomplish the group’s goal of supporting entrepreneurs.
Africa Report Offers Opportunity to Reach African Audience
Africa Report invites GEP partners to share their success stories with their audience. With a 4500 euro contribution, Africa Report will produce a film on successful projects and/or entrepreneurs to be shared with their audience in 30+ African countries. Interested organizations and individuals will also receive copies of the documentary for educational, fundraising or training purposes. Past film projects have highlighted Oikocredit and Helvetas. For more information, please contact Raymond Hasselerharm via email (email@example.com) or at +31653772570.
Africa Angel Network Seeks Sponsors and Funding
Branison Group is looking for funding and sponsors for the first ever local angel group in Africa (“Cape Angels”) and for the roll-out of this project to other African cities. For more information, contact Craig Mullett (Cmullett@branison.com).
AllWorld Invites Applicants for Arabia 500
Allworld invites applicants to join a global network of high-performing companies for the first Arabia 500, which aims to move markets in real time – generating new wealth and expanding development in the Arab world. Through finding and advancing the growing private companies in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) area, the Arabia 500 will improve access to capital and markets for entrepreneurs. Winners are recognized globally, and will participate in the Arabia 500 Awards Gala & Global Summit in the Fall of 2011 in Jordan. In addition, the top 50 are invited to the AllWorld Summit at Harvard University. Hundreds of companies have already applied. Amazingly, the first 200 qualified applicants are growing at blistering 60% a year, in industries ranging from IT to Eco Tourism. For more information, please visit Arabia 500 or contact Noura Faisal (nalfaisal@allworldl).
Entrepreneurs’ Organization Continues A New Beginning: Entrepreneurship & Business Innovation
Entrepreneurs’ Organization, a dynamic, global network of more than 7,500 business owners in 38 countries, is seeking immediate funding to continue momentum for its A New Beginning: Entrepreneurship & Business Innovation Program in partnership with the Department of State’s International Visitor and Leadership Program (IVLP). A New Beginning is a four-year program (2010-2013) which brings 30 entrepreneurs from 30 countries for a 3-week emersion in learning and sharing of experiences. By design, participants of the program then plant their ideas and experiences from the program in their home countries to build entrepreneurial communities and spread the energy and inspiration. Last year’s program was an amazing success with substantial documented impact. Entrepreneurs’ Organizations looks for funding of $50,000 per year for the remaining three years of the program. For more information, contact: Daniella Foster or Nicole Deaner.
CMEA Capital Managing Director, Faysal Sohail, Offers Mentorship
Faysal Sohail, Managing Director CMEA Capital, offers one hour of mentorship via Skype to interested entrepreneurs or organizations. For more information, please contact Faysal Sohail (firstname.lastname@example.org).
To place a “Bid-Ask” in our next quarterly newsletter please contact Anne Park at (ParkAM@state.gov).
Imagine a room full of more than 400 students with projects they created to solve the world’s toughest problems. They’re from all over the world and beat out over 325,000 other students who had registered to compete.
Your first stop is with Team Oasys from Jordan who show you their solution that detects areas susceptible to the slow but ravaging environmental issue of desertification. They explain that they built it after learning about the extreme socioeconomic decline in “desertified” areas – especially in their country.
Next stop: an education solution from a team of Kuwaiti women, Team MAA, who enabled individuals with physical disabilities to use their hands as computer mice, facilitating better educational engagement. In fact, everywhere you turn, there are solutions addressing issues affecting the environment, education, health, and more.
The good news is that you don’t have to IMAGINE this. These were real projects created by two of the more than 100 teams who competed at the Microsoft Imagine Cup 2010 World finals last summer (www.imaginecup. com). This year, the top teams - the crème de la STEM - will compete at the Imagine Cup 2011 Worldwide Finals in New York City from July 8-13, 2011.
Now in its ninth year, the Microsoft Imagine Cup is the world’s premier student technology competition and showcases students using technology to help solve the world’s toughest problems. It is designed to inspire, prepare, and shine the spotlight on the next generation of global innovators and helping prepare the students of today for the jobs and world of tomorrow. Moreover, it showcases the importance of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills in making an impact in the world. Many faculty members are even using it in their courses to more deeply engage their students.
The teams use several sources of inspiration for their projects including the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, personal or regional experiences, and, new this year, Imagine Cup Solve This – technology needs posted by NGOs, IGOs, and nonprofits in a “marketplace” for students to consider addressing with their projects.
In order to identify the best from around the world, Microsoft holds over 70 regional competitions - including competitions in GEP focus countries Egypt, Indonesia, and Turkey. In fact, in both Egypt (finals to be held April 23) and Tunisia (April 27), this year’s students have been asked to consider an additional angle: Develop projects that will help rebuild their respective nations post-revolution.
With the changes happening across the world, the Imagine Cup’s role of fostering local innovation for impact has never been more critical.
Calls to Action: Learn more about local Imagine Cup events here. To learn more about the Imagine Cup, please visit the website or contact Suzi LeVine (email@example.com), Director, Education, Microsoft Corporation. Click here to submit problems to the Imagine Cup Solve This marketplace.
Secretary Clinton Delivers Remarks at U.S.-Islamic Forum here
GEP Egypt Delegate, Seth Goldstein talks to Egyptian Entrepreneur Amr Ramadan here
An Exit in Egypt? Chris Schroeder explains the importance of an Intel Acquisition in Egypt here
Under Secretary Judith McHale - Entrepreneurship is now “a central plank of our foreign economic policy” here
It mobilizes private capital to help solve critical world challenges and in doing so, advances U.S. foreign policy. Because OPIC works with the U.S. private sector, it helps U.S. businesses gain footholds in emerging markets catalyzing revenues, jobs and growth opportunities both at home and abroad. OPIC achieves its mission by providing investors with financing, guarantees, political risk insurance, and support for private equity investment funds.
Established as an agency of the U.S. Government in 1971, OPIC operates on a self-sustaining basis at no net cost to American taxpayers. OPIC services are available for new and expanding business enterprises in more than 150 countries worldwide. To date, OPIC projects have generated $74 billion in U.S. exports and supported more than 275,000 American jobs.
OPIC’s Access to Opportunity in Southeast Asia conference is designed to identify investment opportunities in the region’s emerging markets, encourage joint ventures between U.S. and regional businesses, and facilitate support for new investment in Southeast Asia. OPIC’s Supporting Organizations have worked effortlessly to help promote this conference. OPIC feels great pride in introducing its Supporting Organizations to conference attendees.
In addition, conference attendees will have access to a high-speed networking session. This exciting and interactive session will enable conference attendees to make the most of their networking time by offering one-on-one introductions to other attendees, including potential partners, collaborators, and capital providers. Sign-up for the session by first registering for the conference at the event website, http://opicevents.linderforms.com. Questions about the session may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to meeting you in Jakarta!
Grassroots Business Fund’s Harold Rosen Featured on BBC Radio World Service
Impact investment aims to be the successor to microfinance, but will it work? Grassroots Business Fund Executive Director Harold Rosen speaks to this question and shares his expertise in this featured piece on BBC Radio World Service. To hear more, please visit http://bbc.in/dQt08H.
Wamda, Leading MENA Entrepreneurship Portal, Partners with GEP
Wamda.com is a new partner to GEP and the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region’s leading online knowledge and community portal for entrepreneurs. Since beta launch in late 2010, the site already has acquired 3,000 members, alongside a community of over 17,000 on its Facebook page. Wamda is beginning a major outreach program in 2011 and was present at the ArabNet tech event in Beirut in March. In April, Wamda will be a sponsor of TEDx. Its MentorMatch functionality will launch in beta stage in May 2011.
Report from Political and Economic Officer, Jacob Johnson, based at U.S. Embassy Gabarone
On April 9, Johannesburg launched the first African social entrepreneurship HUB, One of 25 franchises in the global network, HUB Johannesburg is a self-funding space for networking, seminars and shared office space. The HUB model rents office space, with an open, collaborative floor plan, and has a full-time “host” to greet members and help them connect with each other. HUB Johannesburg is already 30 members strong with a larger community attending events and social functions. The Johannesburg HUB brought together entrepreneurship supporters from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Senegal. The HUB model of creating space to share ideas and build community on a self-sustaining basis originated in London in 2005 and has been spreading rapidly throughout the globe.
Africa Angel Network Launches “Cape Angels”
Africa Angel Network met March 4th in Cape Town, South Africa, to launch the initial group (“Cape Angels”). The University of Cape Town’s Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship served as host and the attendees included leaders from government, venture capital and nonprofits. The attendees noted the entrepreneurial finance gap and the direct linkage to new business creation that an angel group could facilitate. Africa Angel Network is forming a leadership team and looking for funding to sponsor this first pilot group and then encourage a rollout to other African cities.
Partners for a New Beginning Convenes Summit in DC May 31-June 1
Partners for a New Beginning (PNB) aims to create public-private partnerships between the US and local communities in the fields of economic opportunity, education, exchange and science & technology. PNB Chapters in Turkey and Pakistan have identified priority areas and projects, and PNB has begun working with local leadership in both Indonesia and the West Bank. PNB will be convening a summit in Washington DC on May 31st and June 1st bringing together international and domestic partners. For more information, see this news from AFP / Dow Jones: US Corporate chiefs plan Mideast jobs talks.
Secretary Clintron Speaks at the U.S.-Islamic World Forum about the Role of GEP and PNB in Egypt
At the U.S.-Islamic World Forum, Secretary Clinton announced that “Our Global Entrepreneurship Program is seeking out new partners and opportunities...To spur private sector investment, we are working with Partners for a New Beginning, an organization led by former Secretary Madeleine Albright, Muhtar Kent of Coca-Cola, and Walter Isaacson of the Aspen Institute. It was formed after President Obama’s Cairo speech and includes the CEOs of companies like Intel, Cisco, and Morgan Stanley. These leaders will convene a summit at the end of May to connect American investors with partners in the region’s transitional democracies, with an eye to creating more jobs and boosting trade.”
Special Representative to Muslim Communities: 2011 Hours Against Hate Campaign
Special Representative to Muslim Communities Farah Pandith and Special Envoy to Combat and Monitor Anti-Semitism Hannah Rosenthal have begun a world tour of their 2011 Hours Against Hate Campaign. The campaign, officially launched on February 17 at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), asks young people to pledge service hours to social organizations that benefit members of communities other than their own. To join the Campaign: www.facebook.com/2011HoursAgainstHate Twitter: #2011AgainstHate
NAPEO Hosts U.S.-North Africa Economic Ministers Meeting on Economic Policy, Regional Integration and Entrepreneurship
The U.S.-North Africa Partnership for Economic Opportunity (NAPEO) is a new regional public-private partnership that exists to better link entrepreneurs and business leaders in the United States and North Africa (Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, and Tunisia). State Department’s Under Secretary Hormats and Assistant Secretary Fernandez recently hosted North African economic ministers for a government-to-government meeting on economic policy issues, regional integration, and entrepreneurship.
Entrepreneurs’ Organization Connects with Accelerator Program & Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA) Pathways Access Initiative (PAI) in Peru for U.S. Businesses and Women Entrepreneurs
Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) Accelerator gives entrepreneurs the tools, knowledge, and skills to grow their businesses to more than $1 million (US) in annual revenue. This comprehensive program, recently launched in Washington DC, also connects participants to the most influential network of entrepreneurs on the planet. In Q1 2011, Accelerator’s nine participants surpassed US$1M in revenue and added 54 new participants. Also GSEA is the premier award for students that own and run their own businesses while attending a high school, college, or university. Student entrepreneurs compete through local, regional, or virtual competitions for a chance to be the best student entrepreneur in the world at the Global Finals. Competitions begin in May and run through the summer and fall months, culminating in the finals, held each November during Global Entrepreneurship Week. The Department of State launched the Pathways Access Initiative (PAI) in Peru on February 25, 2011. The program is part of Pathways to Prosperity in the Americas and its goal is to help connect U.S. businesses with women-owned businesses in Peru. Qualified women entrepreneurs will be recruited, trained, and certified by WEConnect International, the nongovernmental organization that will serve as implementer of PAI. WEConnect International will partner these entrepreneurs with U.S. corporations through a global online bilingual portal.
State’s Under Secretary McHale and Lorraine Hariton Speak at the Global Technology Symposium
Launched in 2004, the Global Technology Symposium is a leading investment conference on venture capital, technology, and entrepreneurship in emerging markets. Each year, the Symposium brings together more than 300 opinion leaders in business, finance, technology, and policymaking, where they share insights into the opportunities and challenges of globalization. Under Secretary McHale keynoted the conference, speaking, about her experience as an entrepreneur and the role of the Department of State in supporting entrepreneurship programs, and Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs Lorraine Hariton moderated a panel on the next tier markets entitled “Beyond the BRICs”.
Harvard Arab Alumni 6th Arab World Conference Features AllWorld’s Anne Habiby
The Harvard Arab Alumni Association’s 6th Arab World Conference took place in Damascus on March 17th. Speakers included AllWorld Saudi 100 Winner and Arabia 500 applicant Saeed Saeed of National Talents for Training & Education and Anne Habiby, Harvard Senior Fellow and AllWorld co-founder.
Entrepreneurs’ Organizations Convenes Entrepreneurship Community through Global Events
EO is hosting global events in Q2 2011 to bring entrepreneurs together to learn and grow and experience the connectedness and support of the entrepreneurial community. The first event, held April 6 through April 10, 2011 at Texas Global University in Houston, Texas, will host 679 attendees from 22 countries, including 120 attendees from Latin America. Following the April event, EO will also be hosting dual Global Leadership Conferences in Chicago, Illinois (May 4 through May 7, 2011) and Shanghai, China (May 18 through May 21, 2011). In addition, regional events are held around the world to bring entrepreneurs together more frequently, on a regional level. Attendees to region events include entrepreneurs from all regions, but are designed to focus on the host region.
Global Business School Network 6th Annual “Generating Leadership” Conference
Global Business School Network (GBSN) is proud to announce its 6th Annual Conference “Generating Leadership: Developing Human Capacity in Emerging Markets.” The event will be held June 20-22, 2011 in Mexico City on the campus of IPADE Business School, this year’s co-host. Faculty and deans from business schools around the world will join representatives from foundations, civil society, government, development organizations, and corporations to focus on generating innovative leaders to solve today’s challenges. Participants will discuss pertinent issues including the important role of entrepreneurship in development, innovative ways to serve bottom-of-the-pyramid markets, and the rise of socially responsible business education. For further information about the conference, including registration details, please visit www.gbsnonline.org/2011
May 3-5: The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) will hold its 7th international investment conference, “Access to Opportunity in Southeast Asia” in Jakarta, Indonesia. To register for this event, please visit: http://www.linderforms.com/opic/
May 6-7: The Kauffman Foundation will hold the StartUp Weekend in Cairo, which is a 54 hour startup event that provides the networking, resources, and incentives for individuals to launch their ideas. Their motto is: “Build Community. Start Companies. No Talk. All Action.” For more information, please visit: http://cairo.startupweekend.org/event/
May 30-June 1: Social Capital Media will host the SOCAP/Europe Conference “At the Intersection of Money and Meaning” in Beurs Van Berlage, Amsterdam. For more information, please visit: http://europe.socialcapitalmarkets.net/about-socap-europe/
June 16-17: The William Davidson Institute will hold their “Global Summit on Educating Entrepreneurs” at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. For more information, please visit: http://wdi.umich.edu/news/events/global-summit-on-educating-entrepreneurs
June 20-22: The Global Business School Network (GBSN) will hold its 6th Annual Conference on “Generating Leadership: Developing Human Capacity in Emerging Markets” at the IPADE Business School in Mexico City. For more information and to register, please visit: http://www.gbsnonline.org/2011
June 16-17, Ann Arbor, MI
Discover leading edge thinking in the area of entrepreneurship education, with a focus on creating and delivering programs to SME business owners in the emerging markets!
- Steven Koltai, Senior Advisor, US State Department’s GEP
- David Barth, Director of the Office of Education, USAID
- Amb. Theodore Kattouf, President, AMIDEAST
- Noa Meyer, VP of Corporate Engagement, Goldman Sachs
- Bailey Klinger, Entrepreneurial Finance Lab, Harvard University
- Heidi Neck, Professor of Entrepreneurship, Babson College
- Celal Aksu, Dean, Ozyegin University, Turkey
Register at: www.wdientrepreneurship.com