On June 1, Maria Contreras-Sweet, the Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration and Jose Antonio Meade, Foreign Secretary of Mexico, met to discuss expanded cooperation to promote entrepreneurship and small business growth.
The discussion centered on ways in which our countries can build partnerships for small business creation and growth, primarily under the Mexico-United States Entrepreneurship and Innovation Council (MUSEIC) launched on September 2013. They highlighted the role of Mexico’s National Institute of the Entrepreneur and the potential of bringing together U.S. Small Business Development Centers and Mexico’s Entrepreneurial Support Network. By building closer ties between service providers, both governments seek to promote small business to grow in their local markets and tap into the global marketplace thereby creating jobs in their communities. The economic empowerment and entrepreneurship of women was also highlighted as a key driver for prosperity.
Foreign Secretary Meade congratulated Administrator Contreras-Sweet on the accomplishment of becoming a member of the President’s Cabinet after immigrating to the United States from Guadalajara, Mexico at the age of five. He emphasized the strategic nature of MUSEIC to focus our joint efforts and exemplified the opportunities high tech small businesses have to enhance North America’s regional competitiveness. He welcomed the April signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Mexico and the United States to work together on linking the hemisphere’s small business support centers to create the Small Business Network of the Americas (SBNA). The agreement will allow centers in the United States and Mexico to share best practices and to work together to help business owners in each country find new partners and markets on the other side of our shared border. They further agreed to work together to promote small business development in Central America and jointly export prosperity from Mexico and the United States to Central America.
Administrator Contreras-Sweet said she is grateful to the Foreign Secretary Meade for his leadership in strengthening the relationship between Mexico and the United States, particularly on economic issues addressed under the High-Level Economic Dialogue created by President Obama and President Peña Nieto in 2013. Further to U.S. commitments under the small business MOU, she extended an invitation to at least 30 Mexican small business development centers, incubators, and accelerators to come to the United States in September to build direct center-to-center partnerships with their U.S. counterpart centers.