Spark Initiative: Promoting Global Entrepreneurship

Date: 03/23/2015 Description: Spark Logo - State Dept Image

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Answer President Obama’s call to support emerging entrepreneurs.

What is Spark?

A common symbol and platform for connecting diverse programs working to promote entrepreneurship around the world.

What is the U.S. Government's Spark initiative?

The programs selected to the President's Spark initiative represent the best work being done by the U.S. Government to advance entrepreneurship around the world. They commit to generate at least $10 million dollars over three years for emerging entrepreneurs, with more than half raised by women and young entrepreneurs. The initial commitments toward this goal totaled over $1 billion dollars that would be generated by the end of 2017. The programs agreed to co-brand their communications with the Spark logo, while working to more closely link their programs to increase their reach and impact. More on the U.S. Government’s Spark Programs»

What is the External Spark consortium?

Representing some of the world’s top organizations working on entrepreneurship, the Spark consortium serves as the first-ever umbrella organization for connecting, coordinating, and communicating about their programs.  The Spark consortium chose to focus their initial work on creating a unified communications capacity about entrepreneurship across their organizations, developing a searchable inventory of programs, resources, and investment opportunities for entrepreneurs, coordinating their events and major programs, collaborating on the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, as well as working to prioritize key policies and issues facing entrepreneurs.  The Spark consortium is supported by some of America’s top marketing firms, who have dedicated significant time and resources to developing a universal symbol to represent the hope and opportunity offered by entrepreneurship. More on the external Spark consortium»

Where did Spark Start?

At the 2014 Global Entrepreneurship Summit, Vice President Biden announced a bold goal for the best work being done by the U.S. Government to advance entrepreneurship around the world: help emerging entrepreneurs, including social entrepreneurs generate over $1 billion in new private investments in their businesses, with more than half of the investment being raised by women and youth. As President Obama said in a video address to an entrepreneurship summit in Tunisia, “Over the next three years, we’re aiming to spark more than one billion dollars in new investments in the next generation of entrepreneurs around the world—to help them open a new business, expand into new markets and ignite the next era of innovation and growth.” This ambitious initiative sparked the attention of a number of leading organizations, companies, and figures working on entrepreneurship, who gathered at the White House to discuss how they might collaborate. This coalition is coalescing around a number of key goals, ideas, and actions. Their first step is to open a conversation via #StarttheSpark about the common goals shared by those working to promote entrepreneurship. Together, the effort can help to increase communication, coordination, and collaboration across all our efforts to support entrepreneurs around the world. Connecting these entrepreneurial sparks can help set alight a bright beacon of new hope, shared purpose, and opportunity.