The Global Entrepreneurship Program (GEP) is a new program focused on supporting and empowering entrepreneurs in Muslim communities around the world – and beyond. It will do this by marshalling partners, both U.S. and in-country, as well as multiple U.S. government programs around the six areas considered to be essential to creating a successful ecosystem for entrepreneurs. These six areas are: ‘Identify,’ ‘Train,’ ‘Connect,’ ‘Guide to funding,’ ‘Sustain,’ and ‘Celebrate’ entrepreneurs. The proposed program has twelve focus countries throughout the world, including seven Muslim majority countries.
The GEP is a powerful demonstration of the U.S. government’s long-term commitment to advancing entrepreneurship – by providing expertise and tools geared at building local capacity – and will serve as the secretariat to sustain and expand the initiatives launched at the Summit. In her Closing Remarks, Secretary Clinton will announce the GEP and the first pilot programs in Egypt (with significant support from USAID) and Indonesia. More will follow.
In Egypt, as part of GEP, On the Frontiers Pioneers of Prosperity program is bringing its highly regarded business plan competition programs; the Small Enterprise Assistance Fund’s Centers for Entrepreneurship and Executive Development, CEED, will provide their training and alumni networking programs; Endeavor, will deepen their best-in-class high-impact mentoring with the addition of their new Mentor Capital program. In addition, GEP’s eight local Egyptian partners include the Egyptian Junior Business Association, Nile University, the American University in Cairo, Delta Financial, and the Egyptian Business Leaders Forum and others. The local partners will work with U.S. partners in every area from training to mentoring to seeding angel investor networks.
In Egypt, the Global Entrepreneurship Program will be managed by a team of "Entrepreneurs in Residence" funded by USAID. They will grow the partnership network and the programs and partnerships offered. In Washington, GEP will be managed as an interagency team, led by the State Department’s Bureau of Economic Affairs/Office of Commercial and Business Affairs. It will work together with several U.S. government agencies, principally the Department of State, Department of Commerce, USAID, OPIC, SBA, and the Millennium Challenge Corporation.
The effort in Egypt is just beginning, but illustrates the caliber of partners involved, the program’s approach and the organizational support structure. GEP will provide expertise, tools and support for entrepreneurs that will help them to develop and flourish – spurring innovation and creating jobs and economic opportunity.