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Through your own enterprise, entrepreneurship, and hard work, the people of India have lifted more than 130 million citizens out of poverty — a remarkable improvement, and one I know will continue to grow under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi. All of you are helping India’s middle class reach its goal of nearly 500 million people by 2030. You have opened new universities across the Country. Your doctors and scientists are discovering medical cures and life-saving technologies. Your engineers and architects have built modern wonders that grace your skies. And Indian spacecraft have travelled to the Moon and to Mars. The people of India inspire us all. This is the first time India has hosted the Global Entrepreneurship Summit. It is a symbol of the strengthened friendship between our two peoples, and the growing economic and security partnership between our two nations. As President Trump said earlier this year: India has a true friend in the White House. I would like to thank the State Department for co-hosting this incredible gathering. I also want to thank Governor Narasimhan and all elected Indian officials who are here tonight for welcoming us to your beautiful country. It’s wonderful to be in this ancient city brimming with transformative technology — now, your tech centres may even outshine your world-famous Biryani. CEOs like Microsoft’s Satya Nadella went to school right here in Hyderabad. Just a few kilometres away, T-hub’s brand new facility is set to open next year — and will become the largest incubator in Asia. In this “City of Pearls” the greatest treasure is YOU — the dreamers, innovators, entrepreneurs, and leaders who never give up — never abandon your aspirations — and always strive for a better tomorrow. Today, we come together to celebrate what is happening here in India, what is happening in the United States — and all over the world: entrepreneurs are revolutionising our economies, and improving our societies. You are rewriting the rules. You have the inspiration and drive to serve our communities through the projects you start and the businesses you build. You have the grit — the perseverance — and the WILL to succeed. Each of you started with an idea. You’ve worked long days and nights to code the next robot, create the next app, find the next cure, and discover the next breakthrough to improve millions of lives. Some may have tried to convince you that the risk is too great — and the reward too small. But you are here today because you are not afraid to fail.
You want to OWN your future. So before I go further, I want to congratulate you on all you have already accomplished.And I especially want to congratulate the women entrepreneurs here today. This year’s Summit is focused on a theme that is key to our future: WOMEN FIRST, PROSPERITY FOR ALL. I am proud that for the first time ever, women make up the majority of the 1500 entrepreneurs selected to attend. Only when women are empowered to thrive; will our families, our economies, and our societies reach their fullest potential. As a former entrepreneur, employer, and executive in a male-dominated industry, I have seen firsthand that all too often, women must do more than their male counterparts to prove themselves at work, while also disproportionately caring for their families at home. After my father’s election, I saw an opportunity to leave my businesses for the privilege of serving our country and empowering all Americans — including women — to succeed. Our administration is advancing policies that enable women to pursue their careers and care for their families, policies that improve workforce development and skills training, and policies that lift government barriers and fuel entrepreneurship so that Americans can turn their dreams into their incredible legacies. In the last decade, women have made remarkable strides in starting new businesses. Globally, between 2014 and 2016, entrepreneurship activity among women increased by 10 percent. In the United States, within the last decade, the number of women-owned firms has grown by 45 per cent. Even more promising, minority women have started nearly 8 in 10 new women-owned businesses. Today, more than 11 million women in the United States own businesses. They employ nearly 9 million workers, and generate over $1 trillion dollars in revenue. Many women become entrepreneurs and job creators out of necessity — some weren’t given the flexibility they needed at work to care for their families. Others lacked professional sponsors, or they weren’t given a fair shot at a promotion. Instead, women, just like many of those here today, are charting their own courses and achieving incredible feats. Fuelling the growth of women-led businesses isn’t simply good for our society — it’s good for our economy. One study estimates that closing the gender entrepreneurship gap world-wide could grow our global GDP by as much as 2 per cent. The women in this room can help lead the way to closing this gap and ushering in a new age of greater prosperity. Yet, despite the soaring rate of female entrepreneurs, women still face steep obstacles to starting, owning, and growing their businesses. We must ensure women entrepreneurs have access to capital, access to networks and mentors, and access to equitable laws. In developing countries, 70 per cent of women-owned small and medium-sized businesses are denied access to capital. The result has been a nearly $300 billion dollar annual credit deficit for women entrepreneurs in the developing world. In the United States, a Harvard Business Review report found that investors ask men questions about their potential for gains whereas they ask women questions about their potential for loss. This could in part explain why women entrepreneurs received less than 3 per cent of venture capital funding in 2016.
Edited excerpts from a speech by Ivanka Trump, advisor to US President Donald Trump, at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Hyderabad on 28 November