In celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW), the United States Embassy hosted and participated in various events that highlighted the important role that entrepreneurship plays in nations’ economic and social development. This week’s events support President Obama’s goal to elevate entrepreneurship on the global agenda and inspire new generations of innovators to choose entrepreneurship as a profession.
The U.S. Embassy facilitated the participation of Silicon Valley-based tech and social entrepreneurs Wayne Sutton and Melissa Epler in a series of talks and forums aimed at raising Jamaican’s awareness on how they may accomplish successful entrepreneurial pursuits within a global technological environment. Sutton served as keynote speaker at the Young Entrepreneurs Association’s Gala and Awards Dinner on November 13, and Melinda Epler participation on the Business Dialogue panel discussion at University of West Indies organized by Jamaica Business Development Corporation as part of Jamaica’s GEW activities. Roundtable discussions at the World Bank – organized in conjunction with Jamaica’s Destination Experience, the Mona School of Business and Management, UTECH’s Technology Innovation Center, and an U.S. Embassy-hosted reception on November 16, generated stimulating dialogue about keys to business success and developing Jamaica’s own nascent entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Ambassador Luis G. Moreno provided the keynote address at Jamaica’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Day (WED) 2015 celebration on November 19. Hosted under the patronage of Thalia Lyn, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Island Grill and organized by Jamaica’s WED World Ambassador for the Caribbean Cecile Watson, the EmpowHERed to INNOVATE event is the second annual local observance of this global movement to empower, celebrate and support women entrepreneurs worldwide.
During Ambassador Moreno’s keynote address, he commented on the significance of community and its importance in creating a safe environment for entrepreneurs. He stated, “It’s about community.. It’s what we are… When someone hurts our community including what occurred in Paris it affects us all… And those (in Jamaica and abroad) that openly refuse to condemn such acts are reprehensible”. Ambassador Moreno lauded Jamaica’s female entrepreneurs, describing them as avid risk takers who lead phenomenal businesses. The Ambassador also stressed the importance of education and greater collaboration among all stakeholders in creating an environment which boosts free enterprise.
The U.S. Embassy continues to partner with the government and people of Jamaica to create an environment which enables Jamaica’s health and prosperity. The events hosted and supported by the Embassy throughout Entrepreneurship Week form part of a greater number of commercial initiatives aimed at creating an environment to attract US investment expected to top $500 million over the next five years and encourages sustained economic growth across the island.
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