About the GEP
The Global entrepreneurship Program 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.
CONTACT THE GEP
Visit Our New URL: http://www.state.gov/e/eb/cba/entrepreneurship/gep/index.htm
Dear GEP Partners and Friends,
An ancient Chinese proverb holds that: “Those that say it can’t be done should get out of the way of those who are doing it.”
Entrepreneurship is all about getting things done. In fact, the origin of the English word “entrepreneur” comes from the French word “entreprendre,” which means “to do something or to undertake an initiative.” And who are these “doers?” Well, since our last newsletter, we have engaged with many of them and we are excited to report to you about some of what we have done together. People like:
Senior Advisor and Director,
Global Entrepreneurship Program Office of Commercial & Business Affairs
Bureau of Economics and Business Affairs
U.S. Department of State
Secretary Clinton hosted a Global Business Conference February 21 – 22, bringing together representatives of U.S. business support organizations and U.S. corporations from over 110 countries. The two-day conference provided opportunities for dialogue and brainstorming on the USG role in supporting American competitiveness and creating American jobs. The agenda included remarks from senior U.S. officials, including Vice President Biden, Secretary Clinton, and Commerce Secretary Bryson. Along with breakout sessions on thematic and regional issues, participants discussed topics including intellectual property rights; creating effective public-private partnerships; investing in Central Asia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the New Silk Road; challenges to doing business in Europe; and how to engage emerging economies in the Asia-Pacific region.
Heralded as a success by the 200 participants and the media, the Conference showcased the State Department’s renewed commitment to being the most responsive and effective force multiplier for U.S. businesses abroad and foreign businesses looking to invest here in the United States. GEP was well represented at this event, and GEP’s Partner Coordinator, Caroline Croft, coordinated this effort.
During the past month, the Global Entrepreneurship Program implemented by USAID’s Egypt Competitiveness Program (ECP/GEP) made significant progress catalyzing angel investing in Egypt. On February 27, ECP/GEP organized an Angel Investing Forum in collaboration with AmCham. During the Forum, which was attended by more than sixty potential angel investors, a panel of local, regional, and U.S. investors shared best practices and their experiences investing in start-up businesses. USAID sponsored the participation of Jim Daniell, an experienced angel investor and Cofounder of Common Angels, who shared his vast experience as an IT entrepreneur and suggested angel network structures that may suit the Egyptian context. For additional details on this event, please refer to the following link: http://www.amcham.org.eg/events_activities/committees/Speeches.asp?E=500&t=31
ECP/GEP also coordinated a roundtable with eleven potential investors to discuss angel investment and a roundtable with 30 entrepreneurs on business plan presentation skills. On February 29, the first pitch session took place for one of the newly established Egyptian angel investors’ network comprised of 12 investors. Five entrepreneurs supported by USAID presented their business ideas and are now in discussions to receive financing.
February 18, ECP and YES Egypt organized a speed mentoring event in Alexandria. A total of 54 entrepreneurs (38 teams) met with 16 mentors for a total of 130 mentoring sessions. Please refer to the following link for pictures of the event: https://www.facebook.com/#!/media/set/?set=a.21 6228415142889.43692.149871171778614&type=3
On February 29, Mike Ducker (Entrepreneur-in-Residence for ECP/GEP entrepreneurship activities) and Egyptian entrepreneur Gamal El Din Sadek participated in the TV program “Good Morning Egypt” on channel 1. Gamal El Din Sadek is the Co-founder of bey2ollak and he participated in the NexGen IT BootCamp organized by ECP/GEP and won a prize for an entrepreneurship internship at iContact in the United States. During the interview, the program aired a video of previous ECP/GEP activities including Startup Weekend in Alexandria to show the enthusiasm of the youth participants. For more details on the interview: http://www. youtube.com/user/ECPUSAID/videos?feature=context&sort=dd&page=1& view=u
Mike Ducker has been working to increase market growth and productivity of entrepreneurs for almost 20 years. Over the last year, Mike has been the Entrepreneur-In-Residence (EIR) for the pilot State Department Global Entrepreneurship Program in Egypt which is funded by USAID. Mike has implemented programs that have helped over 20 start-ups, securing funding for 8 of them as of press time. He has generated media buzz, with over 120 articles, including articles in the New York Times, CNN, Mashable, and other regional and local media outlets. Before his stint as EIR in Egypt, he worked for J.E. Austin Associates (JAA) for 6 years leading its ICT and entrepreneurship practice in Egypt and Armenia. During Mike’s time at JAA he provided input to President Obama’s Summit on Entrepreneurship. Mike worked in the private sector for 9 years, including starting an e-learning business in China in 1998 and working in marketing. Mike started his career in accounting/financial management and was part of a management staff that turned around a distribution company from losing hundreds of thousands of dollars to profiting a million dollars. He has created several training courses on entrepreneurship and ICT that he has taught internationally or in the US. He was a Peace Corp volunteer in Kenya in 2001 to 2003 helping to start up a community ICT center. He earned his MBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, is a former certified management accountant, has finished 7 marathons, and summited Mt. Kilimanjaro.
By John May, ARI team member and Chair Emeritus, Angel Capital Association
I enjoyed a whirlwind three days in Indonesia experiencing aspects of this emerging, vibrant entrepreneurial economy February 8 -10. My trip was facilitated by the U.S. Embassy team and hosted by Mark Wang, the new executive director of GEPI in Jakarta. I reinforced and reconnected networks developed during the GEP-led delegation to Jakarta and Bali during the Regional Entrepreneurship Summit last July. The purpose of this trip was to perform fact-gathering as part of a USAID grants targeting angel (early or seed-stage) investor network development in Indonesia.
I interviewed key tax and legal professionals; gave several presentations; was interviewed by more than a dozen members of the press; and visited an incubator and a university program. A highlight was a panel presentation on “financing your business” in front of a standing room only crowd at the U.S. Embassy’s @america pavilion one evening. GEPI chair Giuseppe Nicolosi hosted a conversation on alternative means of structuring angel investments with 25 high net-worth investors at Jakarta’s Finance Club.
This preliminary site visit was vital in preparation for the next phase of ARI’s assignment. Similar angel investor network development is underway in Egypt. The USAID grant will cover work in three additional countries, as well. ARI is pleased to be a key training partner in the GEP worldwide rollout. Presentations, interviews with service providers, downtime with local staff and partners, and one-on-one sessions with emerging entrepreneurs will help shape our final deliverables to support the growth of angels and “gazelles”-- fast growing start-ups -- in the region.
Mark Wang is currently the Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) and Executive Director the Global Entrepreneurship Program Indonesia (GEPI). On January, Mark announced GEPI’s plans for 2012, which include the establishing of a business incubator and providing investor financing options for GEPI. GEPI has since launched the groundbreaking Impact Ventures Accelerator Program (IVAP) in partnership with LGT Venture Philanthropy to support social enterprises with financial investment and long term consulting support. GEPI also plans to establish an “angel investor” network and fund to support startups at the critical early stages of their business.
Mark has had extensive experience in social entrepreneurship and in the financial sector. Previous to his assignment as Indonesia’s EIR Mark focused on supporting social enterprises through early stage investments and advisory support in Southeast Asia. Mark was also a part of Dalberg Global Development Advisors where he worked with the IFC on developing the private sector through the Mekong Private Sector Develop Facility focusing on Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. Additionally, Mark has worked on projects with UN and private foundations. Earlier, Mark was a vice president at Citigroup focusing on global strategy and analysis for emerging markets and with JPMorganChase in the risk management group.
Global Entrepreneurship Program - Turkey (GEP-TR) created the first media training in Istanbul, March 27, 2012. The training started with a comparative evaluation on entrepreneurial journalism between Turkey and the U.S., and it involved tech columnist from The Boston Globe, Scott Kirsner, as the keynote speaker, as well as two leading journalists of the Turkish media, Chief Editor of Dünya newspaper, Hakan Güldağ, and GEP-TR Press Consultant and Editorial Consultant of Bloomberg Businessweek Turkey, Ruhi Sanyer.
Entrepreneurs from Endeavor, Alemsah Ozturk, Yunus Güvenen and Fatih Isbecer, were also present discussing the missing links between the entrepreneurial world and media in Turkey. During the training, several themes were discussed such as, “where to find stories on start-ups,” “how to improve the stories,” and “how to sell these stories to the editor.” A question of interest amongst the group was whether entrepreneurs in Turkey were really being perceived as role models? While entrepreneurs expressed that entrepreneurship did not necessarily bring fame, senior journalists stated that Turkey had come a long way on perceiving entrepreneurs as role models, bringing a positive change in Turkey.The media training also hosted members from various media outlets including Dunya, Bugun, Radikal, Vatan, Hurriyet, Webrazzi, Ekonomist, Haberturk, Infomag, Bloomberg, Businessweek Turkiye and Anadolu Ajansı.
Ussal Sahbaz has been the Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) in Turkey since June 2011. GEP Turkey is run by the Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey (TEPAV) and Ussal is also the Director for Entrepreneurship at TEPAV. In this capacity, among other things, Ussal was a key organizer of the Second Global Summit on Entrepreneurship hosted by Prime Minister Erdogan in Istanbul in December 2011. Ussal also advises the recently established TOBB Venture Capital Sectoral Assembly (TOBB Girisim Sermayesi Sektor Meclisi), an industry council to foster policy dialogue on private equity, venture capital, and angel investing.
Ussal Sahbaz graduated from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government with a master’s degree in public administration and international development. He worked as a consultant to the World Bank in Washington, DC, and as a competition economist at the Turkish Competition Authority. A native of Ankara, Ussal holds a BS degree from the Middle East Technical University and an MA from Bilkent University, both in economics.
The Aspen Institute, the State Department, and the local Moroccan board of the Partners for a New Beginning (PNB)-U.S.-North Africa Partnership for Economic Opportunity (NAPEO) hosted the 2nd annual U.S.-Maghreb Entrepreneurship Conference in Marrakesh, Morocco, on January 16-18, 2012. The conference, which gathered more than 450 participants, is the annual partnership convening event for the U.S.-North Africa Partnership for Economic Opportunity and is the second Maghreb regional follow-on event to the Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship held in Washington, DC in April 2010. Key participants included former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright, Aspen Institute CEO Walter Isaacson, President of Manpower Group David Arkless, Holsman International CEO Henrietta Holsman Fore, Director General of OCP Mostafa Terrab, Redmed Group CEOAbdelmajid Fechkeur, Assistant Secretary Jose W. Fernandez, Special Representative Kris Balderston, and Special Representative Lorraine Hariton.
U.S. Government and PNB-NAPEO partners announced over twenty programs and initiatives realized since the launch of NAPEO last year in Algiers that support the development of entrepreneurship in the Maghreb region. New announcements included a $3.9 million USAID entrepreneurship program for Tunisia and Morocco. The Third U.S.-Maghreb Entrepreneurship Conference will be held in Tunisia in Spring 2013.
April 23-24: The European Trade Association for Business Angels (EBAN) will host their 12th Annual EBAN Congress & 7th EBAN Awards Ceremony in Moscow, Russia. For more information: http://www.ebancongress2012.org/149.html
May 15-17: The Arab International Women’s Forum is hosting the “Emerging Economies, Emerging Leaderships- Arab Women and Youth as Drivers for Change” in Sharjah, U.A.E. For more information, please visit: http://www.aiwfonline.com/home.aspx
May 24-25: TBLI’s Annual Global Networking and learning event on Environmental, Social and Governance and Impact Investing is hosting their conference in Hong Kong. For more information: http://tbliconference.com/home.html
May 24- June 2: The fifth GEP Entrepreneurship Delegation is happening in Istanbul, Turkey. To follow the winners and all activities, please visit: http://gep-turkey.org/ (Delegate selections is now closed)
May 31-June 2: GlobeWomen is hosting their “2012 Global Summit of Women” in Athens, Greece. To register for this event: http://www.globewomen.org/summit/summit.htm
June 8-10: The Academy of Innovation and Entrepreneurship is co-organizing the 5th Innovation and Entrepreneurship Conference (AIE2012) to be held in Macau, China.
June 19-21: The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council is hosting their 2012 Business Conference in Orlando, Florida. To register: http://www.wbenc.org/wbencconf/index.php
June 28-29: We Own It Summit is hosting its Annual Summit in New York, NY. This conference includes top leaders focused on women’s participation in high growth businesses. If you haven’t received an invitation and would like to be considered, please visit: http://www.weownitsummit.org/
Pathways Access Initiative Peru
GEP’s Senior Advisor on the Global Women’s Business Initiative, Jackie Spedding, traveled to Peru in late March to commemorate the first year of the Department of State/USAID Pathways Access Initiative (PAI) program. Jackie attended a Vendor Opportunity Forum at the Chamber of Commerce in Lima, together with representatives of over 70 companies.
Representatives from Full Circle Exchange, a WEConnect Global Member, were present to provide insights on how Peruvian companies can market and sell to U.S.-based companies based on their experience with WEConnect. Full Circle Exchange has a relationship with another WEConnect corporate member, Walmart. When Walmart was launching a women’s initiative last fall, Full Circle contacted WEConnect for women-owned businesses to provide products.
Two Peruvian PAI companies were selected to provide samples for this unique initiative. One company, Fidenza Disegno, was invited to attend the Full Circle Exchange Summit in California where CEO Milagros Johanson met with buyers from Walmart.com who are now placing orders for upcoming launches. Milagros Johanson and Full Circle Exchange discussed their “WEConnection” and how other companies can take advantage of the WEConnect network.
American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ): Women’s Leadership
On January 24, Lorraine Hariton, Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs, participated in ACCJ events stemming from the APEC Women and the Economy Summit. Special Representative Hariton hosted a panel with the Mayor of Yokohama, Ms. Fumiko Hayashi, that was attended by about 100 people and conducted a round table with 15 women business leaders to discuss the challenges and develop recommendations on how to more women in business in Japan. It was agreed that Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) Women’s Leadership Conference hosted in Yokahama (March 8-9, 2012) would be a platform for gaining visibility and momentum around the challenges to more women’s participation in the workforce in Japan. On January 25, S/R Hariton also participated in the launch of the “U.S.-Japan Innovation and Entrepreneurship Council,” details of which can be found on U.S. Embassy Tokyo’s website: http://japan.usembassy.gov/e/p/tp-20120130-01.html
Special Representative Lorraine Hariton’s Visit to Saudi Arabia
During her January 20-22 visit to Riyadh, Special Representative Hariton spoke on a panel entitled “The Coming Jobs War” at the Global Competitiveness Forum (GCF) and met with public- and private-sector stakeholders in the Saudi entrepreneurship ecosystem. S/R Hariton discussed the Global Entrepreneurship Program (GEP) in meetings with the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA), the Centennial Fund (TCF), the Saudi Industrial Development Fund (SIDF), the Badir Program for Technology Incubators, and National Net Ventures (N2V). Special Representative Hariton also joined a SAGIA-organized, 21-person roundtable which included participants from across the Saudi entrepreneurship ecosystem and international experts.
Global Entrepreneurship Congress
Shelly Porges, Senior Advisor of GEP, spoke at the Global Entrepreneurship Congress hosted by the Kauffman Foundation in Liverpool, U.K. Over 1000 people attended the Congress which was keynoted by Richard Branson, founder and CEO of Virgin Airlines. Hosts for Global Entrepreneurship Week from over 100 countries were also in attendance and participated in the two days of working sessions on mobilizing the entrepreneurship communities in their countries. Porges spoke on how the State Department supports entrepreneurship through our network of embassies, consulates and USAID missions. On a second panel, she addressed how NGOs can work with their governments to engage more in entrepreneurship.
In our most recent cable to all embassies, consulates, and missions on entrepreneurship, we received responses from a total of 121 U.S. Missions abroad -- nearly 54% of all embassies and consulates. We were surprised and encouraged to see that mentoring ranked as one of the highest GEP services most desired by responding posts.
The GEP Mentoring working group met for the first time on March 1. Participants included Vital Voices, SCORE, CRDF Global, CDC Development Solutions, CEED, Entrepreneurship Organization, The Hatchery, Mowgli, and Cherie Blair Foundation, as well as participating offices within the State Department.
During this initial meeting, the roundtable discussed best practices in mentoring and how to restructure our online matchmaking platform, the E-Mentor Corps. Together with these partners, GEP is developing a coordinated strategy to best serve the global entrepreneurship community.
GEP has mobilized the world’s leading mentorship experts to help meet this need.
Immediate next steps include:
Cora Neumann began her service as a Franklin Fellow, on January 18, and she’s our new Senior Advisor to the Global Women’s Business Initiative (GWBI). Cora helps coordinate the African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program (AWEP), which was launched by Secretary Clinton in 2010 and has since become a flagship women’s entrepreneurship program for the State Department. She also serves as liaison to the International Council on Women’s Business Leadership and is involved in MENA region efforts, wPOWER and more.
Cora has extensive experience in international development, women’s issues and policy analysis. As founder and former director of RAND Corporation’s African First Ladies Initiative, she worked closely with first ladies and public and private leaders from 15 African nations and various international NGOs to assist first ladies in their efforts to influence change in the areas of health and women’s issues – including women’s entrepreneurship.
Cora has convened multiple international meetings focused on women’s issues and has a successful track record in building alliances among private, nonprofit and public entities and leaders on programs related to women’s issues.
She graduated with a MPH in public health from Columbia University, a BA in political science from University of New Mexico, and is completing her doctorate in international development at University of Oxford, U.K.
To our delight, U.S. Embassies sent a slew of cables in recently that report or reference entrepreneurship. We want to recognize a few of them here:
Ambassador Launches Women’s Entrepreneurship Program Initiative (Greece): The Ambassador recently hosted a reception for more than a hundred businessmen and businesswomen to help launch the “I-for-U” (Initiative for Networking and Empowering Young Women Entrepreneurs) women’s mentoring network. The initiative was created by eight Greek women as a direct result of their participation in the “Invest for the Future: Women Driving Economic Growth” conference that was held in Istanbul in January of 2011.
Believe, Begin, and Become Entrepreneurship Program Launch (Mbabane): Ambassador Irving spoke at the launch of a nationwide competition for entrepreneurs supported by USAID. PD wrote the Ambassador’s speech for the launch, coordinated his participation and ensured media coverage of the event.
Embassy Hosts U.S.-Portuguese Entrepreneurship Forum (Lisboa): As part of the growing collaboration between the Mission and academic and scientific communities, on January 25, the Embassy organized and hosted a U.S.-Portuguese forum on entrepreneurship and innovation.
American Dream Conference Promotes Higher Ed, U.S. Market to Young Entrepreneurs (Lyon): 50 students, school administrators, vocational trainers and young entrepreneurs turned out for a lecture and roundtable entitled: “Is the American Dream Still Possible?” organized by the Maison de Developpement in Lyon’s industrial suburb, Pierre-Benite. The conference took the new and ultimately successful step of combining the promotion of U.S. higher education opportunities with a discussion of entrepreneurship and the U.S. economy.
Embassy Hosts “Silicon Valley Comes to Malaysia” (Kuala Lumpur): Representatives from YouTube, LinkedIn, Napster, Priceline and other star entrepreneurs and investors came together for this event. The event attracted 800 promising local entrepreneurs and featured a business plan competition. Dash Balakrishnan and his company -- Start-Up Malaysia -- conceived, planned, and financed much of the project, with support from the Malaysian Government. The Government of Malaysia also organized an “APEC Young Entrepreneurs Summit,” convening 500 attendees from throughout APEC for two days of meetings and discussions.
Lithuania: The U.S. Embassy in Lithuania actively participated in TEDxVilnius in early December. TEDxVilnius is modeled after the annual TED conference in the U.S. and is devoted to spreading the spirit of creation and ideas. TEDxVilnius brought together 16 speakers covering genetics and medicine, NGO’s and volunteering, science, information technology, and the visual arts to share what they are most passionate about on stage in 18 minutes or less. The event attracted an audience of 450 people with another 5,000 online. Embassy Lithuania plans to participate in two upcoming events – Verslauk (Lithuania’s largest start-up competition) and Login 2012 (a technology conference) to further promote Lithuanian entrepreneurship and innovation efforts.
Saudi Arabia: Assistant Secretary Jose Fernandez met with entrepreneurs in Jeddah on March 4, on the margins of the Jeddah Economic Forum. The entrepreneurs discussed challenges in Saudi Arabia, such as the lack of a business-oriented education, limited access to capital, and difficult intellectual property rights procedures. This meeting, similar to Under Secretary Hormats’ roundtable with entrepreneurs at the 2011 Jeddah Economic Forum, served as an opportunity to show U.S. support for entrepreneurship in Saudi Arabia, and to learn how we can collaborate with local partners to support entrepreneurship.
Pakistan: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Ambassador Cameron Munter praised the energy, creativity, and determination of Pakistan’s young entrepreneurs at the Young Entrepreneurs Conference 2012 (YEC2012) on March 27, the first-ever Pakistan Young Entrepreneurs Forum. This was organized jointly by the U.S. Embassy and the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Young Entrepreneurs Forum (ICCI YEF). For a video on this conference, please visit: http://youtube.com/0r4n5HrF1ms
The Caribbean: On February 24, Ambassador Carmen Lomellin, U.S. Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States (OAS) announced a U.S. grant of $960,000 to fund Small Business Development Centers (SBDC’s) in Saint Lucia, Dominica, Belize, Jamaica, and Barbados. The Caribbean SBDC’s are modeled after similar existing programs located throughout the U.S., Mexico, Colombia, and Central America.
The World Economic Forum recently released their “New Tool to Close the Business Gender Gap.” This is a public, web-based platform showcasing over 100 practices for addressing gender parity. For more information, please visit: www.weforum.org/women
Entrepreneurs’ Organization shares an exciting read written by Kevin Langley and Cari Guittard, “Harnessing the Power of Entrepreneurs Globally.” This can be found at the University of Southern California’s Public Diplomacy magazine: http://publicdiplomacymagazine.com/harnessing-the-power-of-entrepreneurs-globally/
The Center for Entrepreneurship and Public Policy (CEPP) in George Mason University has one great new addition to their website: an interactive 2012 GEDI world map containing rankings and scores for all 79 participating countries: http://cepp.gmu.edu/787-2/
HP Learning Initiative for Entrepreneurs (HP LIFE) is a global program for training students, aspiring entrepreneurs, and small business owners to harness the power of IT and to establish and grow their business. Organizations may participate in HP LIFE by invitation through an annual Request for Proposal process: http://www8.hp.com/us/en/hp-information/social-innovation/life-building.html
GEP is working with Intel Easy Steps to create direct partnerships with the African Women’s Entrepreneurship chapters on women’s SME business training. Intel’s program is a digital literacy program for adult learners and focuses on basic computer and business skills, as well as business plan development training.
OPIC’s Enterprise Development Network (EDN) is collaborating with Moody’s Analytics to conduct a series of training workshops to be held in the U.S. and countries where OPIC is active. The first workshop, sponsored by both OPIC and USAID, will be held in Kigali, Rwanda from May 14-16, and will be followed by “Growing SMEs,” a two-day conference organized by EDN partner Business in Development (BiD) Network.
External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein. More»