Today, at the second annual Global Diaspora Forum in Washington, DC, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced the opening of the Latin-America IdEA Partnership (La Idea) business competition, which will strengthen engagement with U.S.-based diaspora groups investing in programs in their communities of heritage in the Latin American region.
“I’m pleased to announce that we are officially launching a new business competition for Latin America,” said Secretary Clinton at the launch of the partnership. “We’re going to find the best ideas and help them grow into successful businesses that create value and jobs throughout the hemisphere.”
The La Idea platform will support and develop business partnerships between U.S. and Latin American small- and medium-sized entrepreneurs. The competition, which officially opens today, will provide grant awards to winning entrepreneurs.
During the registration period, entrepreneurs will be provided access to the resources they need to develop their business concepts. Through these partnerships, we have provided entrepreneurs with access to key business resources, including counseling, financing, and links to international buyers and suppliers.
In addition to the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), Univision, the Inter-American Development Bank, and Boom Financial, the La Idea Partnership welcomes several new strategic partners: the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Small Business Administration (SBA), Wellspace — a collaboration platform that powers deeper engagement between SMEs, their communities and corporate sponsors — and Accion— a global nonprofit with micro- and small business lending networks in the United States and in Latin America. For more information, please see: www.laidea.us.
At the Forum, Secretary Clinton also launched a new diaspora volunteerism project called Diasporas for Development. The partnership between USAID, Accenture, and Cuso International will encourage highly skilled U.S. diaspora professionals to volunteer in their country of origin or heritage to support economic development.
These two new initiatives are part of the International diaspora Engagement Alliance, or IdEA, which provides a platform for diaspora community groups to connect, engage, and create new partnerships around five key pillars of activity: entrepreneurship, social innovation, volunteerism, philanthropy, and diplomacy in communities of heritage around the globe. This unique partnership supports the U.S. State Department’s efforts to promote sustainable, inclusive economic growth and development that strengthens diplomatic efforts and bolsters U.S. business opportunities and investments abroad.
Other commitments announced at the Secretary’s Global Diaspora Forum include:
Launch of a resource mobilization platform to promote giving for diaspora-backed groups or projects that are investing in their countries of heritage. The platform is being launched in collaboration with GlobalGiving.
Launch of an online mentor platform to link diaspora communities with heritage communities. The online, peer-to-peer e-mentorship and knowledge-sharing platform is made possible through a partnership with Mentor-Cloud.
Learn more about the Secretary’s Global Diaspora Forum: http://www.state.gov/s/partnerships/gdf/index.htm
Learn more about International diaspora Engagement Alliance (IdEA): www.diasporaalliance.org.
Lorin Kavanaugh-Ulku, Global Partnership Initiative, U.S. Department of State, O: 202-647-9302, B: (202) 236- 4132, firstname.lastname@example.org