"A New Beginning" International Exchange Strengthens Business and Innovation Relationships Worldwide"

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
September 22, 2011

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs announced today that business leaders from 30 countries will travel to the United States September 25 – October 14 as part of “A New Beginning: Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation” to strengthen the business relationships between the international entrepreneurs and their American counterparts.

Now in its second year, “A New Beginning” provides an opportunity to highlight and support business and social entrepreneurship, especially in Muslim communities around the world, while developing people-to-people relationships with American businesses. This four-year initiative of the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) was first announced by President Barack Obama at the Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship in April 2010.

Entrepreneurs participating in this year’s program will arrive from Afghanistan, Argentina, Bahrain, Belgium, Benin, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei, Cote d'Ivoire, Denmark, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, The Gambia, India, Indonesia, Israel, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Mauritania, Morocco, Netherlands, Nigeria, Philippines, Singapore, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

The participants will meet with leading American entrepreneurs, business executives and government officials to hone their entrepreneurial endeavors and skills. During their three-week visit, the participants will visit four cities: Washington, D.C.; Phoenix, Arizona; San Francisco, California; and New York City.

Now in its 70th year, the IVLP is the U.S. Department of State’s premier professional exchange program, connecting current and emerging foreign leaders with their American counterparts through short-term programs to build mutual understanding on foreign policy issues. Nearly 200,000 distinguished individuals have participated in the program, including more than 320 current and former Chiefs of State and Heads of Government, and thousands of leaders from the public and private sectors. More information on the IVLP can be found at http://exchanges.state.gov/ivlp.

For more information, please contact Talley Sergent, U.S. Department of State, at SergentRT@state.gov.

PRN: 2011/1568