In this year’s Presidential Proclamation of November as National Entrepreneurship Month, President Obama called on all Americans to “continue our work to ensure America remains home to the best minds and the most innovative businesses on earth.”
Here are some highlights of how we celebrated entrepreneurship over the past month here at the White House:
The President congratulated three student winners of the National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge in the Oval Office. The students – including 13-year-old grand prize winner Lily DeBell – were chosen from a field of over 20,000 contestants. In addition, the President announced new efforts to significantly enhance immigration options for foreign entrepreneurs who seek to start and grow companies here in the United States as part of his executive actions to fix our broken immigration system.
The First Lady appeared on a special episode of ABC’s Emmy Award-winning show “Shark Tank,” featuring veteran entrepreneurs who continue to serve our country by creating jobs and fueling economic growth. The Administration continues to promote the success of veteran entrepreneurs through enhanced training and access to capital.
Vice President Biden delivered the keynote address at the fifth annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Marrakech, Morocco, in which he announced a new commitment by the United States to spark $1 billion in new private investments over the next three years for entrepreneurs, including social entrepreneurs, worldwide. At the summit, Dr. Jill Biden spoke at a signature event for women entrepreneurs, while Secretary Penny Pritzker (Department of Commerce) and Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet (U.S. Small Business Administration) emphasized America’s leadership as the epicenter of invention and innovation – and as a model for other countries.
We highlighted the recent accomplishments of University Innovation Fellows, a growing cohort of student leaders who are on a mission to generate more entrepreneurial activity and collaboration on campuses across the country. We also hosted the 50 winners of the Small Business Administration’s first-ever Growth Accelerator Competition, representing some of the most promising startup accelerators throughout the country. As Administrator Contreras-Sweet explained, “Incubators, or accelerators, create a multi-faceted support structure to help startups quickly launch and commercialize their ideas.” The Growth Accelerator Competition was a great opportunity to showcase how more and more Federal agencies are experimenting with the startup accelerator model to advance national priorities. For example:
Looking ahead, in the President’s words, we will “reaffirm our commitment to support these entrepreneurs as they develop the products, services, and ideas of tomorrow.” Check out the White House Startup America initiative for updates on how the Administration is working to accelerate entrepreneurship across the country.
Doug Rand is Assistant Director for Entrepreneurship at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.