At the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia last October, President Obama announced that we would bring together a group of America’s best and brightest innovators to champion entrepreneurship both here at home and overseas. Together, these individuals would use their networks and platforms to stimulate a start-up culture in the United States and all over the globe. I am honored to chair this new group, the Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship (PAGE).
This week, the inaugural members of PAGE met for the very first time. Each of these 11 individuals has a unique and valuable perspective that will inform how the group tackles the challenges to entrepreneurial growth at home and abroad. For example, Tory Burch (Chief Executive Officer, Tory Burch; Founder, Tory Burch Foundation), who started her line of shoes and accessories just 10 years ago, recognizes the obstacles facing aspiring businesspeople who need access to financial capital to turn their ideas into successful ventures. Nina Vaca (Chief Executive Officer, Pinnacle Technical Resources), runs a business that provides IT services to companies all over the country and sees a real need to ensure we have a highly-skilled workforce in America that can take on 21st century jobs. And Hamdi Ulukaya (Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Chobani), who came to the United States from Turkey and launched Chobani Greek Yogurt in upstate New York in 2007, shared that many talented, entrepreneurial minds lack a key ingredient that can help them realize success: a belief that they can achieve their dreams.
These leaders have created jobs in the U.S., and together can utilize their experience to help others. They are passionate about spurring creativity and entrepreneurship in the United States and recognize the positive impact of new business formation on economic growth and job creation. In fact, young companies today are responsible for almost all new job growth across the United States.
PAGE members understand the benefits that creative ideas and solutions bring to our society. Alexa von Tobel (Founder and Chief Executive Officer, LearnVest) launched her company in 2009, with the goal of spreading financial literacy and financial advice to people all over the country regardless of their income or background. Rich Barton (Co-Founder and Executive Chairman, Zillow), founded Expedia, Zillow, and Glassdoor, with the idea that one way to empower people is through transparency and access to information.
America’s entrepreneurial spirit and supporting ecosystem are admired worldwide. As President Obama reminded us in our meeting on Monday, promoting entrepreneurship at home and abroad can generate prosperity globally by spurring job growth and encouraging innovative solutions to pressing challenges. The Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship will work to educate and inspire bright minds across the United States and around the world, helping them find pathways to start their own businesses and create their own success, leading to greater peace, prosperity and progress.
The inaugural members of PAGE are: