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Sunday, August 4, 2013

State Department Initiative La Idea Seeks Entrepreneurs with Business Partnerships in Latin America

La Idea Announces Extension of Business Pitch Competition Application

New York, NY/Washington, D.C. – July 29, 2013 –Today, the U.S. Department of State, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Accion announced good news for small businesses: the Latin American Idea (La Idea) Partnership will extend its business pitch competition deadline to 5:00pm EDT on September 20, 2013 for U.S. businesses with partnerships in Latin America.

In addition, three randomly selected applicants who meet the original August 1 deadline will receive pro bono legal consultation with Goodwin Procter's Neighborhood Business Initiative, a perfecting your pitch consultation with Miami-based accelerator and incubator VentureHive, a business planning consultation with banking experts, a free domain name from .CO, a year of free web hosting as well as a one-hour website development consultation with StarfishGlobal, and will have their video pitch featured on Univision.com. Interested applicants can find more information and application materials at LaIdea.co, including information on the terms and conditions of the free business and legal services.

About the Pitch Competition
The La Idea Business Pitch Competition is an opportunity for partnerships between entrepreneurs in the United States and Latin America to compete for $50,000 in cash and tailored business support services. 10 partnerships will receive a coveted spot in the competition’s finalist event, to be covered by Univision News, La Idea’s official media partner, where they will pitch their business idea live in front of a panel of celebrity judges.

The La Idea Business Pitch Competition is a component of the La Idea partnership, a program that empowers entrepreneurs within the Latin American diaspora to cultivate and grow innovative businesses and startups that will generate employment and economic growth throughout the Americas.

“Trade is not just about large companies, but must include small and medium enterprises that make up so much of the economy of both Latin America and the United States. In the U.S., small businesses have generated the majority of jobs over the past decade, but a striking statistic is that less than one percent of America's 30 million small companies export. And of that one percent, more than half export to one country. So increasing this number is critical for economic growth and job creation. [One] initiative that we've undertaken is La Idea,” said Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roberta S. Jacobson.

The Need for La Idea
In the United States there are over 2.3 million Latino entrepreneurs opening businesses at twice the national rate—making them the fastest growing entrepreneurial segment in the country.  La Idea hopes to unleash the potential of Latino entrepreneurs and translate their knowledge, expertise, and capital into tangible improvements in Latin America where they have business, family and community ties.

La Idea is a public-private partnership between the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development, Boom Financial, Inter-American Development Bank, Overseas Private Investment Corporation, Small Business Administration, Univision News, WellSpace, Accion, and FHI 360. Last year it was announced as key initiative of President Obama and former Secretary Clinton.

For more information on The La Idea Business Pitch Competition and free business advisory services for applicants visit LaIdea.co.
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