Remarks by Ambassador Jennifer Zimdahl Galt at the Entrepreneurship Expo 2017

Ambassador Galt Delivers the Opening Remarks at the Entrepreneurship Expo

AMBASSADOR GALT: Good afternoon, and welcome to the U.S. Embassy’s first-ever Entrepreneurship Expo!

MP Uchral, thank you for participating.

I recognize and appreciate the important work that you and the Parliamentary Innovation Caucus do to improve the start-up ecosystem in Mongolia.

Throughout the world, U.S. embassies promote entrepreneurship and the essential role it plays in creating jobs, fostering innovation, and promoting positive social change.

Here in Mongolia, one of my Embassy’s primary goals is to support Mongolia’s transition to a more sustainable, diversified economy.

We believe that entrepreneurship and start-ups are critical to this effort.

We would like to encourage home-grown companies to develop innovative solutions to the most pressing challenges facing Mongolia and to produce products that could be exported to the region and beyond – even to the United States, which would bring benefits to both our countries.

The 10 entrepreneurs showcasing their products and services here today represent Mongolia’s next generation of problem solvers and innovators.

Their start-ups, are working to develop some of the most important sectors in Mongolia, including the technology, health, media, agriculture, and environment sectors.

These entrepreneurs inspire us with their independence and risk-taking spirit, but there is an appropriate role for both the public and private sectors in supporting the start-up ecosystem and promoting the entrepreneurial spirit.

This support includes:  access to cutting-edge researchers to learn and generate promising ideas; sufficient funding to develop and market new products and expand new operations; and good mentoring from seasoned business executives.

And the Mongolian government, through good policy and appropriate incentives, can help these start-ups become competitive market players, protect their intellectual property rights, and encouraging many more to emulate their efforts.

This Entrepreneurship Expo seeks to bring together these different players to connect with each other, share ideas and know-how, discuss opportunities, and inspire others.

I am happy to see students, policymakers, mentors, and members of the media in attendance.

I encourage you to freely engage the entrepreneurs here today.

I would like to thank my Economic team for conceiving of, developing, and implementing today’s event.

In addition to organizing the Entrepreneurship Expo – a wonderful way to continue our celebrations this year of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of U.S.-Mongolia diplomatic relations – the U.S. Embassy has been and will continue to be engaged in the development of Mongolia’s start-up community.

We have hosted lectures and film screenings to provide training for Mongolian students and entrepreneurs.

In April 2016, the U.S. Embassy hosted a hackathon to develop innovative solutions to mitigate air pollution in Ulaanbaatar and to engage young entrepreneurs in the process.

In November 2016, we hosted our first TechCamp, a two-day interactive training workshop for Mongolian social entrepreneurs covering essential topics such as crowdfunding, social media, crowdsourcing, data analytics, marketing, and cybersecurity.

We have also sponsored trips for Mongolian entrepreneurs to visit the United States.

In fact, we recently selected an up-and-coming Mongolian female entrepreneur for a Fortune-State Department program that will connect her to a mentor from the Fortune Most Powerful Women community.

I am especially pleased to see women-owned businesses among our exhibitors today.

We would like to do even more, not just this year, but over the next 30 years and beyond.

I look forward to continuing this conversation with all of you and learning how we can cooperate in the future.

Thank you.