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An Egyptian entrepreneur's trip to the US State Department

What is the US doing with entrepreneurship that we lack? Is it a hard thing to do? Lessons learned and best practices.
Ayman Ismail | 12.05.2013
Well, I got a chance to be in the US for the last month: the US State Department is offering a grant to professional fellows all over the world. More than 44 countries with 200+ fellows attended this year's congress and workshops.

Simply put, the major differences between doing business in the US and our country are the three following factors:

1- The ecosystem and the allies: people and companies in the US work in harmony - no one is doing his job alone. So for entrepreneurship for instance, the ecosystem is a mix of the soft institutions (universities,communities,research institutions etc.), hard institutions and policy makers, like the government, public sector and private sector, NGOs and investors.
Simply the harmony and the mutual benefits of these organizations are the key success factors for entrepreneurship in the US.

2- Networking & community belonging: The power of networking is a MUST. No one can do business by his/her own. You have to have your network. Networking is a science with well-known techniques to be applied. A big part of it is the community belonging, so people will go out and belong to a community - it may be cultural, ethnic, religious, or interest-based. Simply being a part of a bigger thing is essential.

3- Openness and humbleness: I was amazed by the level of the people that we met here - real successful entrepreneurs and business men. What was amazing is how they were open to share their experiences, to give support and to open doors for others to recognize them. I always believe that real leaders are humble people. The more you know, the more you understand that you do not know.

Finally, I would like to take the chance to thank some great people. I was lucky enough to meet Rasha Jaber, Mohamed Dohdar, Ossama El Badawi, Hela Gafsi, Sonia Barbaria, Rafa Ayadi, Yomna Abou Omar, Amira Habib, Salma Mohamed, Barbara Peistch, Surry Scherer, Aisha Kassem, and Ayelet Cohen.