Entrepreneurs Visit U.S. for Learning Experience, Will Return Home As Seeds of Change

As part of US Department of State initiative, 30 entrepreneurs from around the world visited Washington, DC, to engage in peer-to-peer learning and relationship-building.

WASHINGTON, Oct. 1, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- When it comes to helping entrepreneurs successfully grow their businesses, nothing can beat the practice of tapping into the knowledge and experience of other business owners. A joint effort between the United States Department of State and nonprofit Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO) creates a peer-to-peer learning environment for promising entrepreneurs from around the world. In selecting high-growth, high-potential entrepreneurs who are committed to growing their businesses and creating new employment opportunities in their communities, the program enhances the visitors' ability to impact their home economies in meaningful and lasting ways.

Now in its third year, "A New Beginning: Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation" identifies 30 new leaders and innovators from the entrepreneurial community each year, and brings them to the United States for a three-week program of educational experiences, business mentoring and long-term relationship-building. On September 23, delegates arrived in Washington, DC, to meet with local entrepreneurs, government officials and leading academics to begin their journey of learning and relationship building.

"Our mission at the Entrepreneurs' Organization is to help leading entrepreneurs learn and grow, and this program exemplifies the reasons we are so passionate about doing exactly that," said Adrienne Cornelsen, chair of the organization's Global Communications Committee. "By creating an environment in which the visiting entrepreneurs can build relationships with and learn from their peers here in the United States, we have enabled them to make a lasting impact in their communities and, more broadly, on the world's economy."

The first two years of the program have already yielded significant results, having acted as a catalyst for improved economic ties, cross-cultural partnerships and job creation. Extraordinary stories and successes have come out of this program in its first two years, including:

  • A delegate from Bahrain returned home to run for Parliament, and now holds one of only three parliamentary seats held by women.
  • A program delegate took lessons he learned in the program and has run workshops attended by hundreds to support and train and empower entrepreneurs in his home country of India, including one event featuring more than 300 attendees.
  • A delegate from Brunei decided to franchise her business throughout Asia, and was asked by the Brunei government to create and lead a Franchise Association to help support growth of the economy.

To facilitate the visitors' transformation into seeds of change, the program boasts several key features, among them a proven educational curriculum based on EO's Accelerator program, and mentorship and peer-to-peer connections between the delegates and leading American entrepreneurs. While in Washington, DC, the delegates engaged with leading government officials at the Department of State and sat down for curriculum-based sessions at Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business. They took breaks from the classroom to spend time with members of EO DC, some of the area's leading entrepreneurs.

After visiting DC, the participants left to continue their tour with visits to Portland, Oregon; Denver, Colorado; Dallas, Texas; and finally, New York City, New York. A New Beginning is a response to President Barack Obama's June 2009 pledge in Cairo and at the 2010 Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship to expand exchange programs and opportunities in entrepreneurship.

About A New Beginning

U.S. embassies in 30 countries have selected high-growth, high-potential entrepreneurs who are committed to growing their businesses and creating new employment opportunities in their communities. Selected delegates have all demonstrated high levels of interest in creativity and innovation. They are forward-thinking, open to new ideas and keenly interested in establishing and expanding business relationships with colleagues and peers in the United States.

U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Office of International Visitors is sponsoring this initiative as part of the prestigious International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). The IVLP brings approximately 5,000 participants to the United States from around the world each year to meet and engage with their professional counterparts.

The program's overall planning and logistics are being administered by Meridian International Center (www.meridian.org), a non-profit organization that promotes global leadership through the exchange of ideas, people, and culture. Meridian's mission is to create innovative exchange, education, cultural and policy programs.

Bloomberg Government (about.bgov.com/) is a partner and sponsor of the program for the second consecutive year.

About the Entrepreneurs' Organization

The Entrepreneurs' Organization is a global business network of more than 8,700 business owners in 122 chapters and 35 countries. Founded in 1987 by a group of young entrepreneurs, EO enables small and large business owners to learn from each other, leading to greater business success and an enriched personal life. The organization's vision is to build the world's most influential community of entrepreneurs, which aligns with its mission of supporting entrepreneurial education and engaging entrepreneurs to learn and grow.

This year, EO is celebrating its 25th Anniversary with events around the world, which will highlight the growth of its entrepreneur network and its role in the lives of members everywhere. As a global business owner network and association, EO helps to transform the lives of the entrepreneurs who transform the world. EO educates, inspires and offers invaluable resources in the form of events, leadership-development programs, an entrepreneur forum and business owner education opportunities, among other resources designed for business growth.

The Entrepreneurs' Organization also operates the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA), the premier award program for undergraduate students that own and run businesses while attending a college or university; and Accelerator, a series of quarterly, high-impact learning events designed to provide top business owners with the tools, knowledge and skills they need to grow their businesses to more than US$1 million in annual revenue.

SOURCE Entrepreneurs' Organization