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OPIC’s Enterprise Development Network & State Department's Global Entrepreneurship Program Partner to Promote Growth in Developing Countries

August 10, 2012
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Overseas Private Investment Corporation’s Enterprise Development Network (EDN) and the State Department’s Global Entrepreneurship Program (GEP) announced a formal partnership that will deepen and expand their cooperation in the development of sustainable private sector growth in developing nations.  

The partnership will provide GEP programs access to EDN’s internet-based platform, allowing GEP Partners to promote programs and initiatives that support business development and growth in emerging markets. GEP Partners, including U.S. embassies and consulates, will also have the ability to access information to help develop new programs and businesses, to identify potential partners to assist in their missions, and to track the success of their programs. In addition, GEP and EDN will collaborate on conferences and meetings that promote economic growth and entrepreneurship in developing countries.  

“The EDN-GEP partnership is a win-win for all involved,” said Elizabeth Littlefield, OPIC President and CEO, “because it will efficiently combine resources from two government agencies in order to better address business needs in developing economies.”
K. Shelly Porges, Senior Adviser for Global Entrepreneurship at the State Department, said, "We are thrilled to be partnering with OPIC's Enterprise Development team.  The EDN platform offers us an impactful way to connect our Embassies and Consulates with our more than 100 partners as we make the Global Entrepreneurship Program truly global. Not only is it easy to use, but it offers all those working on entrepreneurship, both in and out of government, an effective way to connect to the resources in their country."
EDN is a strategic alliance among public and private sector organizations established by OPIC.  Through a growing network of organizations around the world, EDN is designed to bring together the vast resources essential to attract debt and equity capital and political risk insurance for enterprises pursuing business opportunities in developing countries.  

GEP is a U.S. State Department-led effort to promote and spur entrepreneurship around the world.  GEP represents a vital public-private partnership that achieves its objectives by catalyzing and coordinating more than 125 non-governmental partners around six categories of activity: identifying promising entrepreneurs, training them, connecting and sustaining entrepreneurs, increasing funding for emerging enterprises, enabling supportive policy, and celebrating their successes. By establishing a supportive ecosystem, entrepreneurs are given the opportunity to create jobs and vastly improve the economic conditions of their country.  
OPIC is the U.S. Government’s development finance institution.  It mobilizes private capital to help solve critical development challenges and in doing so, advances U.S. foreign policy.  Because OPIC works with the U.S. private sector, it helps U.S. businesses gain footholds in emerging markets catalyzing revenues, jobs and growth opportunities both at home and abroad.  OPIC achieves its mission by providing investors with financing, guarantees, political risk insurance, and support for private equity investment funds.
Established as an agency of the U.S. Government in 1971, OPIC operates on a self-sustaining basis at no net cost to American taxpayers. OPIC services are available for new and expanding business enterprises in more than 150 countries worldwide. To date, OPIC has supported more than $200 billion of investment in over 4,000 projects, generated an estimated $75 billion in U.S. exports and supported more than 276,000 American jobs.