Turkish entrepreneurs selected for US summit
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News | 1/28/2010 12:00:00 AM |
A summit to cement social and business relationships between Muslim-majority countries and the United States is to take place this spring in Washington as a result of an initiative by US President Barack Obama. Five Turkish entrepreneurs from diverse sectors have been selected to attend the summit
Five Turkish entrepreneurs reflecting diverse businesses, from food delivery to high tech, have been selected to participate in the U.S. Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship.
As part of the global initiative launched by U.S. President Barack Obama in Cairo in June, the summit will commence in Washington, D.C. in spring, the U.S. Embassy in Ankara said in a statement on Jan. 27.
The Turkish participants are Bülent Çelebi, CEO and chairman of the board of directors of Airties; Nevzat Aydın, general manager of yemeksepeti.com; Fatih İşbecer, CEO of Pozitron; Şirin Elçi, Director of Technopolis; and Baybars Altuntaş, CEO of Deulcom International. They reflect a diverse range of enterprises representing the service, education and high-tech sectors.
In his Cairo speech, Obama announced he would “host a summit on entrepreneurship to identify how we can deepen ties between business leaders, foundations and social entrepreneurs in the U.S. and Muslim communities around the world,” according to the statement.
More than 700 entrepreneurs were nominated by U.S. embassies around the world and via the Entrepreneur Summit Web site at www.entrepreneurship.gov.
President Obama and other high-ranking U.S. government officials will participate in the summit, along with entrepreneurs and stakeholders from around the world who are invested in advancing entrepreneurship in Muslim communities. “Beyond establishing a forum for discussion, summit organizers hope to establish a platform for attendees and others to build enduring partnerships that will create economic opportunity and change lives,” the embassy said.
[HH] Economic and social innovation:
Approximately 150 entrepreneurs from Muslim-majority countries and Muslim communities around the world have been invited to the summit to take place on April 26 to 27, to meet with their peers and U.S. officials to explore areas of partnership and ways to drive economic and social innovation.
“I comprehend estimable president’s vision quite well,” said Baybars Altuntaş, owner of Deulcom, an institution in foreign language, computer and vocational courses. “He thinks that not struggle but peace will please the world, and that entrepreneurship is the most significant power for peace and development,” reported daily Hürriyet, citing Altuntaş. “I will submit my Middle East Entrepreneurship Institute project, because Muslim areas bear a very high entrepreneurship potential, and by activating this potential, we may be in service of both peace and welfare.”
The U.S. project, which is expected to transform into a giant entrepreneurship network enabling mutual support and cooperation between Muslim countries and the U.S., will also constitute a significant infrastructure of Obama’s strategy for a new start with the Muslim world.
Besides the tension between the Muslim world and the U.S., the success of small- and medium-sized enterprises, or SMEs, is also reported to have played a role in this approach.
According to the research conducted in the U.S., SMEs have provided 65 percent of new employment within the last 15 years. Moreover, the innovation power of SMEs has created new patents 13 times more than large companies. Obama wants to support SMEs both at home and abroad rather than large companies, according to daily Hürriyet. He has prepared a medium-term program to support small entrepreneurs and implemented a series of support.
The Obama administration views the summit as “an unprecedented historical opportunity both to support and highlight the leaders and drivers of economic and social innovation” and to “really craft a new model for a new basis for relationships based on mutual respect and partnership around common challenges,” U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Dennis Hightower had told reporters at Washington’s Foreign Press Center on Nov. 23.
The goal is to enhance partnerships that would “link capital, business development, [and] market access,” enabling entrepreneurs to build “high-growth and high-impact ventures,” as well as continue to look at ways to sustain the existing U.S. focus on other types of partnership programs, according to the statement.