Can Entrepreneurs Change the Conversation on Foreign Trade?

(Washington, DC) April 19, 2017 – It’s been a tough year for trade.  Since the first Global Entrepreneurship Export Exchanges (E3) took place last summer, calls for protectionist policies have spiked in the United States and in countries around the world.  Much of the discussion has focused on the role of multi-national companies and their impact on jobs.  Small and medium-sized businesses represent 98% of American companies exporting, yet make up only 5% of the total exports.  These events, dedicated to the global expansion of these businesses, aim to reorient the trade debate and increase opportunities for entrepreneurs in the United States and across the globe.  In June, E3 conferences will take place in Washington, DC and Dublin, Ireland with the goal of empowering smaller firms to play a bigger role in the global marketplace. 
Jointly organized by the Reagan International Trade Center, George Mason University, and the Global Situation Room, Inc, the first E3 conference will take place on June 16, 2017 at the Reagan Building in downtown Washington, DC.  Bruce Andrews, who most recently served as Deputy Secretary of Commerce will be among the high-level speakers.  They will address what entrepreneurs can do to navigate through the current uncertain global trade winds.  Leading experts will look at how companies can take advantage of current opportunities, as well as discuss new trade policies that could significantly expand exports by American entrepreneurs.  Joining the conference will be dozens of senior foreign diplomats and trade officials.  More than 33 countries attended last year’s E3, along with 150 businesses.  The conference is being supported by the global public affairs firm, Porter Novelli, the Virginia/DC District Export Council, and Virginia’s Small Business Development Centers. 

Former Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce Andrews to speak at the 2017 E3 conference

Former Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce Andrews to speak at the 2017 E3 conference

As the fastest growing economy in Europe, Ireland is increasingly looking outward.  In collaboration with the government development agency, Enterprise Ireland, along with the Irish Small Firms Association, Dublin’s Commissioner for Startups, and Tech Ireland, the Global Situation Room, Inc are organizing an E3 conference in Dublin on June 29, 2017.  Like last year’s E3 Spain conference, American states and cities will travel to Dublin to connect with small and medium-sized Irish businesses looking to expand into the U.S. market.  The event is being hosted at Enterprise Ireland’s headquarters in Dublin.  

Background on E3:

Begun at the White House.  President Obama’s Former Director of Global Engagement and one of the leaders of his Spark Global Entrepreneurship Initiative joined forces to create the E3 conferences.  The Mason Enterprise Center’s Aaron Miller gave it a home.  After coordinating the Global Entrepreneurship Summit at the White House, Brett Bruen left to create a startup.  He believed smaller businesses needed a bigger role on the world stage.  Adrienne Palmer was on the Global Board of Entrepreneurs’ Organization and after transitioning from leadership in her company, wanted to help more business owners engage globally.  Miller is a recognized leader in helping SME’s increase sales through exporting. He saw an opportunity to leverage the global city of Washington, DC to help entrepreneurs and highlight George Mason University’s work to a global audience.  Together, they have built a powerful platform for changing how government, entrepreneurs, and even big business think about trade.  Additional conferences will be announced for later this year at Harvard University, the University of Southern California, Madrid, Spain, and Dallas, Texas.

Adrienne Palmer, E3 Conferences Director: