President Obama speaks with 4 other people, all seated on a stage

BBG networks cover Global Entrepreneurship Summit

BBG networks provided extensive coverage of the recent 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Summit at Stanford University in California’s tech-centric Silicon Valley, where more than 700 entrepreneurs and investors from 170 countries gathered for three days of talks, workshops, mentoring, networking and pitch competitions.  President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry participated in the summit.

The U.S. State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development held the summit to discuss entrepreneurship as a driver for global growth.  BBG networks reported on everything from bold and innovative ideas to challenges and solutions in the business community.  For many around the world, the networks served as the only source of comprehensive and accurate coverage of the summit.

Alhurra brought the summit to audiences across the Middle East and was the only Arabic-language network to take remarks from John Kerry live, as well as the panel discussion with President Obama, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Egyptian software engineer Mai Medhat.

An Alhurra correspondent at the event provided live updates and interviewed some of the participants.  The network examined what it takes to be an entrepreneur in the United Arab Emirates, asked if entrepreneurship can turn the tide of unemployment, surveyed the challenges facing young start-up companies and profiled young entrepreneurs in Tunisia who are pushing to change attitudes about jobs.  The network also looked at tech start-ups in Israel, the U.A.E. and Lebanon.

In addition, Alhurra interviewed two of the participants on Facebook Live:

  • Rami AbdelHady, founder of, talked about the challenges he faced when he launched the first economic web portal in the Palestinian Territories, and he gave advice to future Middle Eastern entrepreneurs. The interview garnered 12,000 views, 140 comments and 736 likes on Facebook.
  • Saudi Salim Hamouda, executive director at a firm for strategic planning and facilities management, discussed how Arab entrepreneurs can bring their business ideas to life. The interview received 17,000 views, 115 comments and 945 likes on Facebook.

Voice of America sent two reporters to the summit and focused its coverage on telling the story of young entrepreneurs from around the world, connecting with people from countries and regions where VOA has audiences and as part of its new emphasis on innovation and entrepreneurship. Interviews were conducted in multiple languages for online, social and video use, including English, Farsi, Vietnamese, Mandarin, Hausa, Spanish and French.  A special page was created on to post the cross-section of entrepreneurs and others who VOA interviewed, including:

  • ElsaMarie D’Silva, founder and managing director of the Red Dot Foundation. She spoke about her online platform that collects data on sexual harassment incidents in public spaces in India and identifies areas of concern.
  • Nida Atshan, senior program manager at Tech Wadi, a nonprofit group with members in the Middle East, North Africa and Silicon Valley. She said her company tries to “bridge the gap” in entrepreneurship between the Middle East/North Africa and Silicon Valley.
  • Hoang Dao Xuan elaborated on his creation of an App for kids in Vietnam who lack an opportunity to learn English. That App also has versions that teach French and Vietnamese.

Videos were shared via Facebook and Twitter, including VOA’s Facebook Live interview with Jasberry founder Neil Dejkraisak.  The interview received nearly 9,000 views, 1,200 likes and 132 comments.

VOA French to Africa and VOA Hausa conducted interviews with representatives from African start-up companies and financial leaders on the continent.

VOA Deputy Director Sandy Sugawara and BBG Media Strategist Paul Marszalek attended the summit – Sugawara to curate best practices on digital innovation for the ongoing revitalization of VOA and Marszalek on behalf of the VOA-RFE/RL jointly produced Russian-language news program Current Time.

The Office of Cuba Broadcasting also covered the event, posting articles on  In one of them, President Obama welcomed, in Spanish, 11 Cuban entrepreneurs participating in the summit.  A separate article profiles three Cuban attendees in their 20s who are experts in computer technology.