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Obama pushes tech startup community for more diversity

Kenneth Corbin | Aug. 7, 2015
If startups in the tech sector and other high-growth industries are going to continue to emerge and thrive, the business landscape must become a more inclusive environment, one that is more welcoming of women, minorities and regions outside major urban and university centers, the White House is warning.

"It's always hard to get in front of the right people, but sometimes it's harder if you're a woman or an underrepresented minority who all too often have to fight just to get a seat at the table," Obama said.

The White House entrepreneurship initiative

The White House entrepreneurship initiative -- an offshoot of the Startup America program the administration rolled out in 2011 -- also counts support from many public-sector entities, including the expansion of the administration's TechHire training and placement program to 10 new cities and states.

Additionally, more than 50 cities have signed onto the administration's Startup in a Day program, which aims to give local leaders more flexibility to reduce administrative barriers to entrepreneurship in their areas.

Obama also pointed to other steps the administration has taken that he says have the potential to boost small-business creation, including the JOBS Act, which eases restrictions on crowd-funding, and the contentious open-Internet order -- the net neutrality regulations that supporters say are needed to prevent Internet service providers from charging for faster content delivery, tolls that startups could have a hard time paying.

"So we hope that these efforts are going to open up new opportunities for all of our entrepreneurs -- all of our would-be entrepreneurs," Obama said. "And in the months ahead, I look forward to seeing more folks across this country -- investors, accelerators, universities, civic leaders, corporate giants, growing startups -- all take new steps to build on these actions. Because you never know who's going to have the next big idea, or what path will lead them there."


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