Media Note
Washington, DC
April 27, 2010

In response to President Obama’s commitment to partnership with Muslim communities worldwide based on mutual interest and mutual respect and the 2010 Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship, the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) has forged partnerships with Business for Diplomatic Action (BDA) and Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) to expand exchange programs and pursue new opportunities in entrepreneurship and innovation. ECA’s International Visitor Leadership Program, “New Beginning: Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation,” will bring twenty-five entrepreneurs per year from countries with significant Muslim populations to the United States over the next four years for educational seminars, mentorship, and first-hand experience in the business place with American entrepreneurs. ECA will also work with private sector partners to send 100 American entrepreneurs abroad over the next four years.

Participants in the “New Beginning: Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation” program will examine strategies used in the United States to enhance the capacities of young business managers; to develop a spirit of entrepreneurship and small business enterprise; and to strengthen societies through the pursuit of social entrepreneurship. The initiative will connect participants with American entrepreneurs going abroad, creating sustainable relationships and building a network among U.S. and foreign participants.

Through these programs we hope to create partnerships that will be mutually beneficial and will support job creation and economic opportunity, both in the United States and overseas.

Private-sector partners in this initiative will identify and provide entrepreneurship facilitators for targeted seminars on business development and engage American entrepreneurs to forge long-term, one-on-one developmental relationships with participants.

Private sector entities interested in this initiative should email the Department of State at

The International Visitor Leadership Program of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs annually brings over 4,500 potential or established leaders to the United States from around the world for professional projects with U.S. peers and for firsthand experience of American society and culture. Over 320 current and former chiefs of state and heads of government and many other distinguished world leaders in the public and private sectors have participated in the program, which this year celebrates its 70th anniversary.

For more information about the Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship, please see

PRN: 2010/512