Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker
participated in an armchair discussion with 1776 cofounder Evan Burfield to
discuss the U.S. economy, entrepreneurship, and the one-year anniversary of the
Commerce Department’s “Open for Business Agenda.” Located in Washington, DC,
1776 serves as a global hub that connects startups tackling challenges in
education, energy, health care, government and other industries with the
resources they need to excel.
Last November at 1776, Secretary Pritzker outlined the” Open
for Business Agenda,” a bold policy priorities framework for the Department of
Commerce, centered on the tools needed for U.S. economic growth. It is focused
on U.S. trade and investment, innovation, data, environmental intelligence, and
operational excellence, and this agenda reflects the Department’s role as the
voice of business, as well as the Obama Administration’s keen focus on economic
growth and job creation.
In light of Global Entrepreneurship Week which begins today,
Secretary Pritzker highlighted the Department’s focus on entrepreneurship as an
important tool for economic growth in the United States and across the
world. As the Administration’s point person on entrepreneurship and chair
of the Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship (PAGE) initiative,
Secretary Pritzker will help lead the American delegation at the Global
Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in Morocco this week. At GES, the Secretary will
promote the importance of global entrepreneurship and support foreign
entrepreneurs. She will also stress that entrepreneurship is gender neutral
when she speaks during Women’s Entrepreneurship Day on November 19.
On a more personal note, Secretary Pritzker offered
advice to entrepreneurs, recommending that they should not be afraid of
failure. As a founder of five companies, she understands that sometimes
failures are necessary to achieve success and that resilience matters.
1776 cofounder Evan Burfield also asked Secretary
Pritzker to talk about her favorite entrepreneur. She mentioned that the
entrepreneurs she meets both at home and abroad – from Saudi Arabia to Japan –
inspire her with their continual enthusiasm and desire to improve the world.
She specifically mentioned a young Ghanaian entrepreneur named Ethel
Cofie who started an IT services firm as someone that inspires. Secretary
Pritzker also considers Daphne Koller, co-founder and president of Coursera and
a PAGE Ambassador, an example of how great ideas can come at any age. Koller
founded the online education platform when she was 44 and a Stanford University