Entrepreneurship is one of America’s greatest assets and exports. Empowering young people and innovators worldwide to pursue their dreams and start new businesses has been a priority for President Obama and the Department of Commerce from day one of this Administration – and for good reason: when entrepreneurs bring new products and services to market, they create avenues of economic opportunity for people in their communities and beyond.
To advance this message and reiterate our commitment to this cause Secretary Penny Pritzker will join President Obama at thesixth annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in Nairobi, Kenya.
The first GES to take place in sub-Saharan Africa, this year’s event will bring together more than 1,200 attendees. It will afford emerging entrepreneurs the opportunity to meet leaders from the private sector, international organizations, and governments. It will allow them to connect with mentors and investors who can support new start-ups and inspire the next wave of innovation.
As the Obama Administration’s point person for entrepreneurship, Secretary Pritzker will participate in a number of events surrounding GES, including the official pre-summit youth and women session that will convene 150 up-and-coming entrepreneurs from across the globe to address specific challenges, to interact with industry experts, and to pitch their companies.
She will also host roundtables and meetings with promising entrepreneurs, business leaders, and government officials. This will be the Secretary’s second official trip to sub-Saharan Africa.
Traveling to GES as part of the Commerce delegation will be four Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship (PAGE), established and celebrated American entrepreneurs who volunteer their time to travel across the U.S. and around the world to mentor, inspire, and support the next generation of innovators.
Launched by President Obama in 2014 and chaired by Secretary Pritzker, PAGE is a first-of-its kind collaboration between these top entrepreneurs, the White House, the Departments of Commerce and State, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and the Small Business Administration.
The 2015 PAGE participants at GES are:
- Steve Case, Chair and CEO, Revolution;
- Daymond John, Founder of FUBU and CEO, Shark Branding;
- Julie Hanna, Executive Chair of the Board of Kiva; and
- Brian Chesky, Co-Founder and CEO, Airbnb.
These PAGE members will echo the primary aim of the President, Secretary Pritzker, other Administration leaders, and GES itself: to create connections that will spur the success of startups and risk takers; that will expand access to capital for budding entrepreneurs; and that will pave a path toward greater opportunity, economic prosperity, and hope for young innovators and creative business leaders worldwide.