Obama's message to entrepreneurs: 'You are the bridge'

Business innovators will help integrate colliding cultures, bring prosperity to generations, president says

On one of the most tumultuous days for world markets and amid news that the United Kingdom will exit the European Union, President Barack Obama delivered a message of hope and unity on Friday at the White House 2016 Global Entrepreneurs Summit, which is being held at Stanford University. It was Obama's second visit to Stanford.

He started by addressing the British people's decision to leave the EU. A few hours prior, Obama had spoken with British Prime Minister David Cameron, he said.

"Based on our conversation I'm confident that the UK is committed to an orderly transition out of the EU. We agreed that our economic and financial teams will make close contact as we stay focused on ensuring economic growth and financial stability. I then spoke to Chancellor Merkel of Germany and we agreed that the United States and our European allies will work closely together in the weeks and months ahead," he said.

"I do think that yesterday's vote speaks to the ongoing challenges of globalization, but while the UK's relationship with the EU will change, one thing that will not change is the special relationship between our two nations. That will endure. The EU will remain one of our indispensable partners; our NATO alliance will remain the cornerstone of global security," he said.

Obama acknowledged that the social-media and technology revolutions started in Silicon Valley have changed the world permanently, and those changes have brought great progress and also conflict as cultures clash and some people fear the changes they feel are disruptive to their way of life. But the entrepreneurs in Memorial Auditorium, who represent 170 nations, "are the bridge" to bring prosperity and growth, which will help stabilize the world and bring global solutions to problems such as poverty, hunger, disease and the environment, he said.

"The world has shrunk; it is interconnected. All of you represent that interconnection. ... It promises to bring extraordinary benefits, but it also has challenges and it also invokes concerns, and fears, and so part of why this global entrepreneur summit has been so close to my heart -- something that I'm so committed to is because I believe all of you represent all the ... optimism and hope of an interconnected world," he said.

In today's world, where economies undergo tremendous shifts, entrepreneurship remains the engine of growth, the ability to turn an idea into reality. "It puts rising economies on the path of prosperity and empowers people to tackle our most pressing global problems ...," he said.

When people can start their own businesses, it helps individuals and families succeed. It can make whole communities more prosperous and secure. It offers a positive path for young people seeking to make something of their lives and can empower people who were previously locked out of the existing prosperity: women, minorities, others who aren't part of the old boys' network, he said.

Underscoring a sentiment made by Secretary of State John Kerry during his Thursday summit speech, Obama noted the pressing need to combat extremism by bringing a future of education, hope and prosperity to younger people, who will also inherit the world's problems such as global warming, clean water and food production.

"We live in a time when 50 percent of the world's population is under the age of 30. That means we've got to make sure that all of our young people around the world have the tools they need to start new ventures ... and to help lift up the entire population," he said.

Traveling the world, Obama said he has seen enormous creativity waiting to be tapped. A goal of the summit is to put more tools and resources into the hands of people who are changing the world. The White House held its first summit in 2010. Since then the summits have helped build entrepreneurship in the Middle East, Africa and Southeast Asia. All told, GES programs have helped more than 17,000 entrepreneurs to connect with each other, access capital and start their businesses, he said.

Obama also spoke of the normalization of relations with Cuba under his administration, noting the presence of 11 Cubans at the summit -- the first time that country has been represented at any GES event, and he asked them to stand up, to great applause.

Obama also hosted a panel discussion with three winners of funding at the summit and with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. As he did in

Earlier in the plenary session U.S, Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker said that Global Entrepreneur Summits will continue after President Obama's administration. He signed executive orders to executive order to institutionalize the GES program and the Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship (PAGE) program, a collaboration between celebrated American entrepreneurs, the White House, Department of Commerce and other agencies to harness the entrepreneurs' ideas and experience to help the next generation of entrepreneurs at home and overseas.

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12 people like this
Posted by Greg T
a resident of Alamo
on Jun 25, 2016 at 12:39 pm

I am glad Britain decided to get out of the EU. They saw their sovereignty and self-control being eroded. They saw themselves no longer being British but being melded into something else. They will do well on their own! and I wish them the best!
The news article mentions how Obama and Angela Merkel are good friends. It is true that they are the same liberal political ilk. They believe in flooding countries with refugees in a move towards globalization. This is beginning to backfire in Europe, especially when recently in Germany, new immigrants hung a banner over the freeway that said: your children will pray to Allah or die.

16 people like this
Posted by gabcushdoucheingisa
a resident of Danville
on Jun 27, 2016 at 3:40 pm

Yes, let's all listen to the brilliant business mind of Barry! He's wonderful for the economy, not. Oh, and he's an extremely good business man; wait, oh yes, he's never had a job in the private sector. This man knows nothing about entrepreneurship. In fact, he has been the worst thing for it, in the last half century!

1 person likes this
Posted by Carlo
a resident of Danville
on Jun 28, 2016 at 9:23 am

Yep. A bridge to pay all profits to crooked insurance companies and absurd payroll taxes to the State. Gimme a break.

4 people like this
Posted by Xin Han
a resident of Blackhawk
on Jun 28, 2016 at 11:28 am

Thank you for the 8 years .. you will be dearly missed by millions everywhere!

5 people like this
Posted by Haddia Lykemi Naoh
a resident of Diablo
on Jun 28, 2016 at 2:41 pm

Web Link President Obama’s approval rating is at its highest level in more than five years, an ABC News/Washington Post poll released on Sunday shows.

According to the results of the survey, conducted in the aftermath of the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., two weeks ago, 56 percent of Americans approve of Obama’s handling of his job as president, compared to 41 percent who disapprove.

Obama “ranks as the most positively viewed recent second term president.”

Both Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan were viewed favorably “by just under half of adults in the spring or summer of their final years in office.” George W. Bush’s favorability rating, by contrast, was just 38 percent at this point in 2008.

5 people like this
Posted by Itzaak Allyagott
a resident of Danville
on Jun 28, 2016 at 5:30 pm

To the second commenter in this thread: I'm curious: are you timid, or twelve?

Like this comment
Posted by American
a resident of Danville
on Jun 30, 2016 at 10:00 am

The company that Obama and his liberal Democrats constantly praise as the model for entrepreneurs is Facebook, and they treat Mark Zuckerberg like he is a king and savior and all CEO's should follow his lead. CNN reported that in 2012 Facebook, a company that made one billion before taxes, paid no federal income tax, and actually got a refund of almost $430 million as they took advantage of Obama's great tax plan that allowed them to secure the refund because of tax deductions from stock options paid to their top employees. No wonder Zuckenberg and his company donates millions to Obama and the Democrats, and hosts fund raisers for them. Facebook, Apple, Twitter, and similar companies that the Democrats love to praise and of course sponge off for campaign donations, are doing everything possible to get Hillary elected so they can continue their ripping off of America.

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