Diaspora communities play a dynamic role as entrepreneurs and innovators in your countries of origin. You are often the “first-movers” on local challenges. Whether it’s a humanitarian need or investment opportunity, you take risks and solve problems.
That’s why in May I announced the International Diaspora Engagement Alliance, or IDEA -- an innovative partnership platform that brings together Diaspora communities, the private sector, and public institutions to work on some of the toughest issues we face today.
We have already established the Caribbean IDEA Marketplace, which will promote business partnerships between Caribbean diaspora and entrepreneurs in the region beginning on March 1st of next year.
And today, I am pleased to announce a similar project focused on promoting trade and investment, jobs, and innovation in Latin America. The United States is partnering with Univision and the Inter-American Development Bank to start the Latino American Idea, which will establish a regional business competition to support entrepreneurs from the Latin American diaspora. We’ll be looking for ideas for new businesses that will create jobs and promote trade and investment. The United States is committing $100 million for this innovative program. The “La Idea” partners will provide technical assistance, access to credit and financing, and communications and visibility support.
Through La Idea we will harness your ideas, your energy, and your commitment to help us meet some of the most complicated and pressing challenges of our time. I can’t wait to hear what ideas you come up with.