Thursday, November 18, 2010

USAID Teams with Cisco to Promote Entrepreneurship

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Cisco and World Learning announced a new collaboration to promote local entrepreneurs, workforce development and economic growth in developing countries.

USAID is providing $1 million in seed funding through World Learning to encourage the creation of new Cisco Entrepreneur Institutes and Networking Academy programs in up to 10 countries. USAID Missions will in turn be invited to partner with local Cisco offices to fund country or customized initiatives, such as curriculum enhancement, scholarships, or initiatives that target underserved populations, including youth, women and persons with disabilities. A portion of the funding also could be used to translate and localize training content to ensure it meets local business laws and regulations. The programs aims train more than 2,500 students over the next two years.

"USAID is proud to partner with Cisco and World Learning to expand local entrepreneurial activities in developing countries with the goal of alleviating poverty and promoting sustained economic growth," stated Deputy Administrator Donald Steinberg, at a ceremony held at USAID to sign the partners' Memorandum of Understanding. "This alliance will help build sustainable businesses and train the business leaders of tomorrow."