President Barack Obama says people succeed and communities prosper when they have the skills and resources needed to start their own businesses.
Women, minorities and those “locked out” by the existing social order, which the president described as “people who aren’t part of the old boy’s network,” can become empowered entrepreneurs when they can turn their ideas into reality, he said.
“The spirit [of entrepreneurship] speaks to something deep inside of all of us…. You all have that same spark, that same creative energy, to come up with innovative solutions to old challenges,” Obama said in a speech at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Stanford University on Friday.
The three-day summit, which brings together 1,200 entrepreneurs from 170 countries around the globe, is sponsored by his administration.
In his remarks, Obama referred to his location – in the heart of Silicon Valley – as both America and the planet’s hub of innovation and creativity.
Stanford University has a history of talented graduates producing world-changing firms. Internet search giants Google and Yahoo both started as student projects at the university. “Those were really good student projects,” said a smiling Obama. “My student projects weren’t as good.”
He said officials are working to simplify the process for starting companies and equipping scientists and engineers with entrepreneurial skills.
Obama also says there will soon be a new effort to funnel more investments to small-scale, clean-energy entrepreneurs from developing countries.
Obama referred to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit – the last to be hosted by his administration – as “close to my heart.”
“I believe all of you represent the upside of an interconnected world,” he added.
A day before, US Secretary of State John Kerry spoke at the summit, and called on attendees to help lead the planet to peace, prosperity and progress.
(With the Associated Press)