(from the NGLCC)
In a historic move yesterday, U.S. National Security Advisor, Ambassador Susan Rice, announced anew partnership between the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) to encourage and support gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) business owners and entrepreneurs in developing countries.
This unprecedented agreement, announced at the White House Forum on Global LGBT Human Rights, holds the promise of creating a more equitable business and cultural environment for LGBT people through economic empowerment.
"Unfortunately, in too many places, being gay or transgender is enough to make someone the target of slurs, torments and violence...protecting our LGBT brothers and sisters is among the most challenging human rights issues we face. Thanks to a new partnership between the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and USAID, we will provide business development training and build new networks to help economically empower the LGBT community. And, working together, we can be assured that the future belongs to those who stand up for freedom and human dignity." -- Ambassador Susan Rice, National Security Advisor
Vice President Joe Biden mentioned the new partnership during an event he and Dr. Biden hosted at their home highlighting the Obama Administration's push for global LGBT equality.
The initiative also creates an avenue for U.S. LGBT businesses to become trading and strategic partners with LGBT business owners in program countries, including Mexico, Colombia and Peru. It will also encourage program country businesses to become suppliers to multinational corporations, in-country companies, and government agencies. Through this partnership we will also encourage intra-regional trade and teaming with LGBT-owned businesses in the U.S. to respond to multinational contracting opportunities.
"The partnership with NGLCC is unique, innovative, and strategic. Economic development will undoubtedly be a powerful tool in our joint mission of global LGBT equality." -- Claire Lucas, Senior Advisor, Public-Private Partnerships, USAID
NGLCC says that "This new partnership reinforces our belief that one of the best ways to break down barriers is to use the common language of business to expand minds and create opportunities. We are grateful to the Obama Administration and USAID for working with us to ensure LGBT people around the world can participate in our increasingly global economy."
In addition to $1,250,000 in funding provided by USAID, NGLCC has raised almost $3 million in private sector funding and in-kind services for the partnership. More information regarding the NGLCC-USAID partnership will be discussed in the coming days on the NGLCC Boardroom Blog and in more detail at the upcoming NGLCC National Business and Leadership Conference next month.