A New Beginning: Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship

Fact Sheet
Bureau of Public Affairs
April 15, 2010


"It was innovation in Muslim communities that developed the order of algebra; our magnetic compass and tools of navigation; our mastery of pens and printing; our understanding of how disease spreads and how it can be healed."
— President Barack Obama

Promoting economic and social entrepreneurship globally is a vital element of the Obama Administration’s foreign economic and development policy – a policy that fosters economic growth, creates jobs, promotes civil society and provides new economic opportunities for U.S. business and investors.

In his June 2009 speech in Cairo, President Obama pledged to host a Summit on Entrepreneurship to broaden and deepen ties between business leaders, foundations, and entrepreneurs in the United States and Muslim communities around the world. The Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship, which will take place April 26-27 at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center in Washington, D.C., will highlight the importance of entrepreneurship, job creation and community development.

The Summit emphasizes the President’s broader aims of supporting entrepreneurship, innovation, and economic opportunity at home and abroad. It is being hosted by the Department of State and the Department of Commerce.

Approximately 250 delegates from more than 50 countries on five continents will come together along with senior U.S. government officials and American business leaders at the Summit. Delegates were selected from nominations by U.S. Embassies and from online applicants. Selections were made based on the innovativeness of nominees’ ideas, their ability to promote entrepreneurship and their commitment to community service as well as on gender and geographic and urban/rural diversity.

Summit Goals

  • Highlight successful entrepreneurs from Muslim communities
  • Expand networks among stakeholders in entrepreneurship
  • Find ways to replicate the most successful entrepreneurship efforts and approaches
  • Identify ways to build and strengthen economic and social climates conducive to entrepreneurship
  • Enable participants to announce or highlight their entrepreneurial programs

The Summit Agenda
The Summit will include moderated discussions on key issues and challenges for advancing entrepreneurship, including:

  • Innovation and Technology
  • Access to capital
  • Catalyzing youth entrepreneurship
  • Mentoring and giving back
  • Fostering a culture of entrepreneurship
  • Unleashing the power of women entrepreneurs
  • Promoting entrepreneurship and enabling business
  • Social entrepreneurship

Global Partnerships
In his Cairo speech, President Obama called for relationships between Americans and Muslims around the world based on mutual respect, mutual interest and partnership. The President initiated a U.S. government-wide effort to work with private sector and civil society partners to identify, train, connect, fund, sustain, and celebrate entrepreneurs in Muslim communities across the globe. In addition to partnerships and programs associated with the two-day Presidential Summit, partners are hosting related but independent events in Washington during the Summit week – and around the world in the months and years to come.

For more information about A New Beginning: Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship, please visit: www.entrepreneurship.gov/summit