WASHINGTON, Dec. 21, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) is now accepting nominations for a new global startup policy award that honors the leadership and achievements of Maria Contreras-Sweet, Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and a member of President Obama's cabinet.
The Maria Contreras-Sweet Award for Global Impact recognizes a government official or policy expert who has created a strong ecosystem to support diverse entrepreneurs in his or her country. The inaugural award highlights leadership that gives all entrepreneurs the power to innovate and advance social and environmental good globally by honoring an individual who embodies a global example of how government programs can empower entrepreneurs to solve societal challenges and further a more inclusive humanity.
Contreras-Sweet remarked: "Entrepreneurship is about creating opportunities for anyone and everyone – regardless of their demography or geography. As policymakers and elected officials, we can lead the way by developing open, transparent, and meaningful policies so that our entrepreneurs can compete on a level playing field and connect and collaborate with one another."
Contreras-Sweet was recently recognized for her work to bring economic growth and prosperity to the world through entrepreneurship and small business development at the Startup Nations Summit in Cork, Ireland during the official closing to Global Entrepreneurship Week in November 2016.
"I am deeply honored and grateful to GEN for creating this award that recognizes SBA's groundbreaking work to export the SBA model and infuse the unique American spirit of entrepreneurship around the world. It is among our most important and enduring legacies," added Contreras-Sweet.
During her tenure at SBA, Contreras-Sweet launched an annual Ministerial as part of the Global Entrepreneurship Congress. The event gathered an array of ministers responsible for startup policies for a high-level discussion on how best to support entrepreneurs. The ministerials were held in Milan, Italy (2015), Medellin, Colombia (2016) and will next be hosted in Johannesburg, South Africa (March 2017).
Nomination process: GEN is now accepting nominations for the Maria Contreras-Sweet Award for Global Impact. Nominations must be for a government official or policy expert who launched a small business program or initiative that further strengthened an inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem. The nomination process is open through January 27, 2017. The award will be given at the GEC on Tuesday, March 14, 2017, in Johannesburg, South Africa. Learn more about award criteria and how to submit a nomination at genglobal.org/MCS.
ABOUT THE U.S. SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION (SBA) The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 as an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation. The SBA helps Americans start, build and grow businesses. Through an extensive network of field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations, the SBA delivers its services to people throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S.Virgin Islands and Guam. www.sba.gov
ABOUT THE GLOBAL ENTREPENURSHIP NETWORK (GEN) Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) is a year-round platform of programs and initiatives created by the communities that celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week each November. Aimed at creating one global entrepreneurial ecosystem, GEN helps people in 150 countries unleash their ideas and turn them into promising new ventures—creating jobs, unearthing innovations for society and strengthening economic stability around the world. For details on the programs and initiatives that make up GEN, visit weareGEN.co and follow @unleashingideas on Twitter.