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Fact Sheet:
Applying the Power of Entrepreneurship to the Eradication of Poverty

June 9, 2004

Presidential Action

President Bush secured G8 Leaders' agreement on an innovative action plan to apply the power of entrepreneurship and the private sector to the challenge of poverty alleviation.

Private Sector-Led Development: President Bush's development policies, such as the Millennium Challenge Account initiative, emphasize promoting economic freedom and entrepreneurship as key drivers of job creation and poverty reduction. A recent U.N. report, "Unleashing Entrepreneurship: Making Business Work for the Poor," highlights the private sector's role as "the source of growth, jobs, and opportunities for the poor."

G8 Action: President Bush led the G8 today in committing to a U.S.-driven action plan on "Applying the Power of Entrepreneurship to the Eradication of Poverty." Specifically, the G8 agreed to:

– Facilitate and lower the cost of remittances, the money sent by immigrants abroad to their families and friends back home.
– Global remittance flows total nearly $100 billion annually, and are significantly larger - and growing faster than - official development assistance.
– G8 countries agreed to launch pilot projects with a view to cutting transaction costs - which can be as high as 10-15% - by half. For example, under the U.S. - Mexico Partnership for Prosperity, the U.S. reduced remittance costs by 56%, putting more money in the hands of recipient families.
– Expand access to microfinance to help new entrepreneurs establish or grow their businesses and pull themselves out of poverty. The G8 will pilot this initiative in the Broader Middle East region, where the G8 has pledged to:

The U.S. will expand its already robust microfinance program, which is currently active in 58 countries, reaching over 5 million clients worldwide with total combined loans of more than $2.5 billion. For example, the U.S. is working in Egypt with nine partner institutions to develop lending programs that have extended more than 1.3 million loans from 1990-2003, creating more than 300,000 jobs. Forty percent of borrowers are women.

– Help finance housing and clean water by developing local mortgage and municipal bond markets.

– Improve the business climate in developing countries for entrepreneurs and investors, including by:

The U.S. will help organize a conference this fall to outline strategies for private sector growth and share best practices.

For the full text of the Action Plan for Applying the Power of Entrepreneurship to the Eradication of Poverty, please click here.

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Source: Official G8 Sea Island site

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