New Possibilities for Entrepreneurship in Africa

Entrepreneurship can transform the world. Entrepreneurs solve problems, create jobs and boost economies. That’s why — through the United States’ Spark Initiative — the U.S. has committed to generating $1 billion in new investments in entrepreneurs, particularly women and girls. 

“Over the next three years, we’re aiming to spark more than one billion dollars in new investments in the next generation of entrepreneurs around the world–to help them open a new business, expand into new markets and ignite the next era of innovation and growth,” said President Obama in a video message at a Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Tunisia.

This ambitious initiative sparked the attention of a number of leading organizations, companies, and figures working on entrepreneurship, who gathered at the White House to discuss how they might collaborate. This coalition is coalescing around a number of key goals, ideas, and actions.

To open a dialogue about the common goals shared by those working to promote entrepreneurship, today, the White House hosted a #StartTheSpark Twitter chat on U.S. Government support for entrepreneurship in Africa.   During the Twitter chat, the White House announced that President Obama will travel to Kenya in July to participate in the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES).  President Obama’s trip will build on the success of the August 2014 U.S.-Africa Leaders’ Summit and continue U.S. efforts to work with countries in sub-Saharan Africa, including Kenya, to accelerate economic growth, strengthen democratic institutions, and improve security.  

Since the creation of the GES in 2009, it has become a pre-eminent platform for entrepreneurs and businesses leaders, international organizations, and governments looking to support them. 2015 marks the first time the Summit will be held in sub-Saharan Africa with the Government of Kenya serving as co-host. 

The programs selected to the President’s Spark initiative represent the best work being done by the U.S. Government to advance entrepreneurship around the world. Together, the effort can help to increase communication, coordination, and collaboration across all our efforts to support entrepreneurs around the world. Connecting these entrepreneurial sparks can help set alight a bright beacon of new hope, shared purpose, and opportunity.