Theodore's World: Entrepreneurs from Muslim World Sought for Washington Summit By Obama

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November 29, 2009

Entrepreneurs from Muslim World Sought for Washington Summit By Obama

In his June "A New Beginning" speech in Cairo, President Obama announced that the U.S. will host a Summit on Entrepreneurship to identify how we can deepen ties between business leaders, foundations, and social entrepreneurs in the United States and Muslim-majority countries (MMC), including their minority populations, and Muslim communities around the world.

Entrepreneurs from Muslim World Sought for Washington Summit

The 2010 summit follows up on President Obama’s pledge in Cairo to find ways to deepen ties between the U.S. and the Muslim world.


By Stephen Kaufman Staff Writer


Approximately 150 entrepreneurs from Muslim-majority countries and Muslim communities around the world will be invited to a two-day summit in Washington in spring 2010 to meet with their peers and U.S. officials to explore areas of partnership and ways to drive economic and social innovation.

Deputy Secretary of Commerce Dennis Hightower told reporters at Washington’s Foreign Press Center November 23 that the Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship is a “direct follow-up” from President Obama's June 4 commitment in Cairo to “identify how we can deepen ties between the business leaders, foundations and social entrepreneurs in the U.S. and Muslim communities around the world.”

The 150 delegates can be nominated “by businesses, governments, academic institutions, [and] social entrepreneurship institutions” throughout the world’s Muslim communities and Muslim-majority countries. “Or you can self-nominate,” Hightower said. Non-Muslims in Muslim-majority countries are also encouraged to apply.

The Obama administration views the summit as “an unprecedented historical opportunity both to support and highlight the leaders and drivers of economic and social innovation” and to “really craft a new model for a new basis for relationships based on mutual respect and partnership around common challenges,” Hightower said.

The goal is to enhance partnerships that would “link capital, business development, [and] market access,” enabling entrepreneurs to build “high-growth and high-impact ventures,” as well as continue to look at ways to sustain the existing U.S. focus on other types of partnership programs.

Hightower reflected on his career in which he opened businesses in Kuwait, Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru, Istanbul, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, and elsewhere in the Middle East region.

The underlying rationale driving his ventures was determined by “what is going to be mutually beneficial” in terms of job creation in those countries along with what would be good for a U.S. company. Both benefits, he said are “equally compelling.”

“The unifying theme of how we are more alike is certainly at the core of why this makes sense now,” Hightower said. At the end of the day, “good business is good business.”

U.S. embassies and consulates in the countries where the delegates will likely be coming from have been told about the summit and will be processing the visas and other paperwork necessary for the 150 participants to come to Washington.

Along with the Department of Commerce and its Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development will be playing key roles in implementing the summit.

There is a broad and diverse platform from which to get “the best possible range of participation,” Hightower said. “You just never know where the next best or good idea is going to come from.”

More information, including a link to a nomination form that can be submitted online, can be found at the summit’s Web site. The deadline for nominations is November 30.



White House Announces Global Technology and Innovation Fund

During his speech in Cairo on June 4, the President announced that the United States would "launch a new fund to support technological development in Muslim-majority countries." As the latest step in delivering on this commitment, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation announced this week a call for proposals for a Global Technology and Innovation Fund. This fund will help catalyze and facilitate private sector investments that promote access to and growth of technology in OPIC-eligible countries throughout Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. OPIC will provide financing ranging between $25 million and $150 million in total capital for each selected fund.

The Global Technology and Innovation Fund is part of an on-going U.S. government effort to expand partnerships that advance economic opportunity and job creation - including in Muslim-majority countries. Specifically, the sectors of interest for prospective funds may address issues that can have a transformational impact in these regions such as technology, education, telecom, media, business services and financial technology and clean-tech.

More information is available at:

Wild Thing's comment..........

We don’t want deeper ties! MULLAH OBAMA!

I wonder if OBama is praying 5 times a day in the Rose Garden.

sheesh! And what are these people entrepreneurs with? Business? No! Inventions ? No!

Bombing and IED's and beheadings yes.

Posted by Wild Thing at November 29, 2009 04:48 AM


Entrepreneurs from the Muslom countries, 'Jihads R Us,' This is the stupidest idea so far. Who is going to finance this world wide business opportunity...I know the good ole US of A. By the time this son of a bitch is done their will not be one thin dime left in this country.

These people live in a time warp, 700 years in the past. Indoor toilets would be an earth shaking innovation for most muzzies, of course so would running water.

Posted by: Mark at November 29, 2009 08:43 AM

obama is determined to support his muslim buddies. Here goes another big bundle of Yankee $$.

Posted by: TomR at November 29, 2009 02:36 PM

Posted by: Jack at November 29, 2009 08:37 PM

Mark, good one...." 'Jihads R Us,'"

Tom, he sure is, and more and more in our
faces as he does it too.

Jack, thank you for the link. Thanks for the
song, good one.

Posted by: Wild Thing at November 29, 2009 11:43 PM

Be a little fair 150 inovators is just about right for all of the innovators in the Muslim world. About the same size group as the business booster for a town of eight or nine thousand in the South. There are some impressive thinkers in the Muslim world, some have left the Muslim world but some men like to beat on women and have sex with bearly teenage girls. It makes them dangerous.

Posted by: Avitar at November 30, 2009 12:09 AM