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IDB, partners establish new competition for Hispanic entrepreneurs in the US

Luis Alberto Moreno, President of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), today announced the establishment of a new competition to help Hispanic entrepreneurs implement creative new social and business ideas addressing issues of economic growth, food, security, water, and climate change in the region.

The announcement was made at Unleashing IdEA, an event launching Global Entrepreneurship Week 2011, which highlighted initiatives to encourage Hispanic diaspora entrepreneurs and investors in the United States to deepen their engagement with their counterparts throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.

“The idea of linking members of the Latin diaspora with their countries of origin is not a new one, but it is one that makes more sense all the time,” said IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno, who opened the day-long event, part of which was broadcast on Spanish-language TV network Univision. “The IDB will provide technical assistance and financing for this effort to deepen integration between Hispanic-owned businesses in the U.S. and companies in the region.”

The Latino American Idea Partnership (La Idea) competition combines the forces of the IDB, the U.S. Department of State, Univision Networks, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), and M-Via, a mobile phone payment service allowing migrants to easily send remittances back to their home countries. Potential candidates will be able to enter the competition online once a call for proposals is issued in 2012.

Projects are to be evaluated on the basis of their project strategy, development impact, sustainability, scalability, and resource leveraging capability.Insights generated during today’s panel discussions at the event will be used to ensure the competition meets the needs of entrepreneurs, whether they are located in the United States or in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The competition aims to capture knowledge and expertise acquired by Hispanic migrants in the United States and disseminate them in Latin America. Some of these include entrepreneurship; risk appetite;resources for promoting economic development; increasing local business opportunities; reducing vulnerability to economic crises, and job creation.

IdEA, the International diaspora Engagement Alliance, will select and fund the best initiatives based on a competitive selection process, drawing on the expertise of IDB experts, the United States Government, several development institutions, private sector entrepreneurs and social capital investors.

The La Idea competition will launch in summer 2012 and the final award event is expected to take place during the Global Entrepreneurship Week in November 2012. Winners of the competition will have access to technical assistance, capacity-building advice, a wide range of financial instruments including commercial loans and capital investment, as well as insurance against political risks.

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