At the second annual Global Diaspora Forum in Washington, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has announced the opening of the Latin-America IdEA Partnership (La Idea) business competition, which will strengthen engagement with U.S.-based diaspora groups investing in programs in their communities of heritage in the Latin American region.
"I'm pleased to announce that we are officially launching a new business competition for Latin America," Clinton said at the launch of the partnership. "We're going to find the best ideas and help them grow into successful businesses that create value and jobs throughout the hemisphere," she added.
The La Idea platform will support and develop business partnerships between U.S. and Latin American small and medium-sized entrepreneurs. The competition will provide 'grant awards' to winning entrepreneurs.
During the registration period, entrepreneurs will be provided access to key business resources, including counseling, financing, and links to international buyers and suppliers, they need to develop their business concepts.
In addition to the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), Univision, the Inter-American Development Bank, and Boom Financial, the La Idea Partnership welcomes several new strategic partners: the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Small Business Administration (SBA), Wellspace — a collaboration platform that powers deeper engagement between SMEs, their communities and corporate sponsors — and Accion— a global nonprofit with micro and small business lending networks in the United States and in Latin America.
At the Forum, Clinton also launched a new diaspora volunteerism project called Diasporas for Development. The partnership between USAID, Accenture, and Cuso International will encourage highly skilled U.S. diaspora professionals to volunteer in their country of origin or heritage to support economic development.
These two new initiatives are part of the International diaspora Engagement Alliance, or IdEA, which provides a platform for diaspora community groups to connect, engage, and create new partnerships in entrepreneurship, social innovation, volunteerism, philanthropy, and diplomacy in communities of heritage around the globe.
The launch of a resource mobilization platform to promote giving for diaspora-backed groups or projects that are investing in their countries of heritage, and the launch of an online mentor platform to link diaspora communities with heritage communities were also announced at the Global Diaspora Forum.
by RTT Staff Writer
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