We had the honor of attending the third annual Global Diaspora Forum in Washington, D.C. last week. The Forum is hosted by the International diaspora Engagement Alliance (IdEA), an initiative managed by the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Migration Policy Institute (MPI). IdEA was launched by former State Secretary Hillary Clinton as a way for the U.S. federal government to better engage with U.S.-based Diaspora communities in supporting their home countries through development, entrepreneurship, and diplomacy. This is the largest global gathering of Diaspora communities in the world.
“Entrepreneurship is so crucial to addressing our development challenges, and I am a believer that great ideas come from many different places,” said Maura O’Neill, USAID’s Chief Innovation Officer. “That is one of the things that make me so proud of living in this country that people can have opportunities who have ideas. And that is what we want to invest in and incubate all over the world.”
We had the opportunity to meet with many great, up and coming Diaspora entrepreneurs looking to make a difference. While the Forum was mostly geared towards private-public partnerships, this event also highlights the great potentials for any firm that is looking to do business internationally by engaging with Diaspora communities.
Like USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah said at the Forum, Diaspora communities can be the “human connectivity” between private firms and overseas clients.
Much of the success behind Global Wire Associates has been through establishing partnerships with many Diaspora tech professionals and activists who have put us in touch with clients and other business opportunities around the world. Diaspora communities also benefit, as they are able to grow their own businesses and professional networks and financially support their families and communities still living in their home countries.