Dallas Entrepreneurs Help Plant Seeds of Change

As part of U.S. Department of State initiative, 30 entrepreneurs from around the world visited Dallas to engage with leading local entrepreneurs in peer-to-peer learning and relationship-building.

DALLAS, Oct. 11, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Since 1993, Dallas' leading entrepreneurs have helped each other navigate the sometimes-choppy waters of business ownership as part of the peer-to-peer learning group Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO). Frequently, a conversation with a fellow entrepreneur who has "been there and done that" can be the difference between success and a stumble. The members of EO Dallas recently had a chance to share this valuable tool with 30 international entrepreneurs visiting as part of a program put together by the United States Department of State and EO.

The program, called "A New Beginning: Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation" creates a peer-to-peer learning environment for promising entrepreneurs from around the world. In selecting high-growth, high-potential entrepreneurs who are committed to growing their businesses and creating new employment opportunities in their communities, the program enhances the visitors' ability to impact their home economies in meaningful and lasting ways.

The more than 100 members of EO Dallas, who each average more than $20 million in annual sales and employ an average of nearly 100 people, hosted the visiting entrepreneurs for days of classroom curriculum, experience sharing and cultural experiences.

"It was great to be able to share what each of us is doing with our companies," said Clint Carter, one of the EO Dallas members who hosted the visiting entrepreneurs. "I think that this program is a great way to improve diplomatic relations with other countries and build connections with the business leaders who play an instrumental role in their country's economic future and often end up playing a role in their country's political future as well."

Now in its third year, the program identifies 30 new leaders and innovators from the entrepreneurial community each year, and brings them to the United States for a three-week program of educational experiences, business mentoring and long-term relationship-building. This was the first time in the program's history that the international delegation of entrepreneurs visited Dallas.

"After the workshop on sales, I had a meeting with a potential business partner for the first time. The meeting was not related to the program, but I actually used some approaches I learned that same day and implemented them in the meeting and my presentation," noted Sasa Jevtic, a Slovenian business owner and one of the members of the international delegation. "As a result, we are signing an agreement and starting a pilot project in Dallas."

The impact of the program on the visiting entrepreneurs was apparent immediately. Ahmed Alhuzami, a delegate from Kuwait, said, "As part of our program experience, I was lucky to meet one of the greatest entrepreneurs in DallasDave Christopherson, President of Metro Tickets. He shared with me his rich experiences over the last 20 years in the sport marketing industry, which is similar to mine in Kuwait."

"It was an amazing experience for me to learn and absorb his adventures, ups and downs and the sweat that got him to the leading position he is in today.  I'm inspired and excited to take this knowledge into action and to continue impacting our communities and countries."

The first two years of the program have already yielded significant results, having acted as a catalyst for improved economic ties, cross-cultural partnerships and job creation. Extraordinary stories and successes have come out of this program in its first two years, including:

  • A delegate from Bahrain returned home to run for Parliament, and now holds one of only three parliamentary seats held by women.
  • A program delegate took lessons he learned in the program and has run workshops attended by hundreds to support and train and empower entrepreneurs in his home country of India, including one event featuring more than 300 attendees.
  • A delegate from Brunei decided to franchise her business throughout Asia, and was asked by the Brunei government to create and lead a Franchise Association to help support growth of the economy.

To facilitate the visitors' transformation into seeds of change, the program boasts several key features, among them a proven educational curriculum based on EO's Accelerator program, and mentorship and peer-to-peer connections between the delegates and leading American entrepreneurs. While in Dallas, the delegates engaged in curriculum centered on sales techniques, sat in on a panel discussion on attracting capital investment and met with EO Dallas members and local government officials. They also took breaks from the business experiences to take in some of the area's cultural experiences.

About A New Beginning

U.S. embassies in 30 countries have selected high-growth, high-potential entrepreneurs who are committed to growing their businesses and creating new employment opportunities in their communities.  Selected delegates have all demonstrated high levels of interest in creativity and innovation. They are forward-thinking, open to new ideas and keenly interested in establishing and expanding business relationships with colleagues and peers in the United States.

U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Office of International Visitors is sponsoring this initiative as part of the prestigious International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). The IVLP brings approximately 5,000 participants to the United States from around the world each year to meet and engage with their professional counterparts. 

The program's overall planning and logistics are being administered by Meridian International Center (www.meridian.org), a non-profit organization that promotes global leadership through the exchange of ideas, people, and culture. Meridian's mission is to create innovative exchange, education, cultural and policy programs.

Bloomberg Government (about.bgov.com/) is a partner and sponsor of the program for the second consecutive year.

About the Entrepreneurs' Organization

The Entrepreneurs' Organization is a global business network of more than 8,700 business owners in 122 chapters and 35 countries. Founded in 1987 by a group of young entrepreneurs, EO enables small and large business owners to learn from each other, leading to greater business success and an enriched personal life. The organization's vision is to build the world's most influential community of entrepreneurs, which aligns with its mission of supporting entrepreneurial education and engaging entrepreneurs to learn and grow.

This year, EO is celebrating its 25th Anniversary with events around the world, which will highlight the growth of its entrepreneur network and its role in the lives of members everywhere. As a global business owner network and association, EO helps to transform the lives of the entrepreneurs who transform the world. EO educates, inspires and offers invaluable resources in the form of events, leadership-development programs, an entrepreneur forum and business owner education opportunities, among other resources designed for business growth.

The Entrepreneurs' Organization also operates the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA), the premier award program for undergraduate students that own and run businesses while attending a college or university; and Accelerator, a series of quarterly, high-impact learning events designed to provide top business owners with the tools, knowledge and skills they need to grow their businesses to more than US$1 million in annual revenue.

SOURCE Entrepreneurs' Organization



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