The Global Small & Medium Enterprises Ministerial recently held its second annual session, which coincided with the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Colombia.
U.S. Small Business Administration Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet launched the event, which drew representatives from several international organizations and 15 nations and senior officials in entrepreneurship and small business policy.
"We all understand the important role of entrepreneurship in creating the dynamic social fabric of our societies," Contreras-Sweet said. "Entrepreneurship is a fundamental economic strategy. But it's also a core security strategy, giving people alternatives to crime and extremism so they can imagine a better future. If you can't get a job, entrepreneurship allows you to create your own. And small businesses not only create most of the jobs in our global economy, they also create a sense of pride in local neighborhoods and contribute tax revenues that can help fund better services and better schools."
"This network provides personalized assistance to entrepreneurs to help start and grow a business," Contreras-Sweet said. "Already, 20 countries across Latin America have joined this network. Hundreds of business education centers have opened across Latin America since 2013. Last year alone, these centers served nearly 20,000 businesses. By partnering to expand entrepreneurship across Colombia, our governments will provide opportunities for women, young people, and rural Colombians to create jobs and forge a lasting peace."