On Aug. 30, I began my day as I usually do by making a pot of espresso coffee and turning on MSNBC's Morning Joe. It was convention time in America. Arianna Huffington was among the guests on the program that morning. The discussion item was one that has dominated both new and old media for much of the last year, "How can we get America moving again?" Ms. Huffington stated that she didn't believe Washington was the answer and suggested that maybe we should be looking to non-profit organizations for solutions to this challenging issue. That, as the expression goes, was music to my ears. Why this was so great to hear is because I have designed three non-profit projects with this particular objective and others in mind. They are the product of years of experience, research and refinement.
I decided to write Ms. Huffington a letter. That letter was placed in a white envelope along with an eight-page project summary. Since my resources are limited, the envelope was sent to the New York corporate office of The Huffington Post via the U.S. mail -- not overnight just standard mail. In mid-September I received an email from Ms. Huffington thanking me for the correspondence and inviting me to write on this and related issues; she generously wrote that she would like my voice to be heard. I thank Ms. Huffington for the platform she has extended me. I still marvel at how this envelope, along with the day's other mail, was delivered by a postal carrier in New York to a person, a basket, a counter at The Huffington Post and from there somehow found its way to Ms. Huffington. Pretty amazing! What's the likelihood of that happening? In all honesty though, I am not that surprised for I believe these are special projects. There are times when I have even felt they have a life of their own. We go back some ten years now. We have a history together. They are dynamic. They keep taking me to new places where new insights are revealed and a greater understanding is discerned, and today, they have taken me to you!
So new friends and fellow Americans, in my next few blogs I would like to introduce you to The Innovate America Initiative; The SME Global Solutions Project; and The US SME Market Alliance. I have only recently begun placing them in circulation in an effort to secure the support and resources of complementary founding partners to launch them in a manner that will afford them the greatest opportunity to become the sustainable and enduring legacy projects I envision them to be.
Outside of Ms. Huffington, The Blackstone Foundation is the only other entity to view them. I appreciate the foundation Blackstone has established to facilitate a resurgence of the entrepreneurial sector in America. I once saw an interview with Steve Schwarzman, Blackstone's Chairman, on the PBS Nightly Business Report. During the course of the interview Mr. Schwarzman spoke about some of the problem's facing today's entrepreneur and mentioned the word "infrastructure" within this context. Until then I thought I was the only one thinking in terms of modeling a new infrastructure that would better serve the entrepreneurial community. This too was good to hear.
Though related, the projects will have their greatest impact as independent non-profits. They are comprehensive, each having been designed to achieve multiple objectives. They are potentially "world changers." The Innovate America Initiative is a national initiative to rekindle an enthusiasm to pursue the American Dream and be the primary catalyst for a new era of American innovation that will encourage and endorse new thinking, new models and systems, and a new market culture to facilitate a period of unprecedented growth within our entrepreneurial sector; The SME Global Solutions Project will seek to identify, promote, support and finance entrepreneurial small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) that are actively pursuing business solutions to our world's most pressing challenges; and The US SME Market Alliance has been conceived as an "umbrella" organization that will work in concert with other representative entities within the SME sector in an effort to create an optimum environment for the development and sustainment of SMEs both here and abroad.
The projects are a formula and catalyst for a new era of innovation in America that will ensure our nation an ongoing position of global preeminence. I also see them facilitating America's integration into what is an established, though currently in transition, global SME community both as a leading participant and, importantly, as an astute observer of new enterprise and enabling structures being nurtured by our global counterparts. These projects are capable of profoundly impacting our nation and its role within the world now and in the future. The 21st century will undoubtedly be remembered for its innovation and how that innovation transformed our world.
In consideration of the manner in which technology has accelerated the business development cycle, and will continue to, it is my position that future economic power (i.e., global power) will be directly tied to how well a nation cultivates and nurtures an environment conducive to the development and sustainment of innovative entrepreneurial small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs). These companies have the potential to create new industries and transform others; to become driving forces of economic and social change. It is my belief that no amount of resources should be spared in this effort. I will even suggest to you that doing so will become a matter of national security going forward.
Well new friends, there it is: in a snap-shot, my 21st-century economic manifesto. It is conveyed to you with committed belief. I must tell you that it was again good to hear our presidential candidates speaking along these lines during the second presidential debate where both President Obama and Governor Romney voiced similar visions for America. Governor Romney offered us this, "I want to make America the most attractive place in the world for entrepreneurs." This is great stuff. Kudos to both candidates -- this is the right strategy for us to pursue. This is a 21st-century strategy for America. The candidates did not offer us a plan to accomplish these objectives, nor should they. It is not the job of the president or the job of Washington to orchestrate and execute such a plan. No my friends, if America is going to get back on track, business and enterprise must sit at the heart of the process. And it will -- and hope and confidence in America will be renewed, and the future for our children will once again be bright. I know we can do this. I know we can be the greatest of generations.
America needs these projects. They are a plan -- a blueprint to nurture and sustain innovative SMEs that will reshape America's economic landscape. Through their vision these innovators pioneer new markets, develop new business models, and generate economic, employment and social opportunities. They are dynamic, high-growth companies that have the potential to become a driving force of economic and social change in America and throughout the world. They are vitally important to our national and global well-being, now and for generations to come. These three projects embody a hope and a strategy for a better tomorrow and a better future for America and the entire global community.
Thank you so much for your consideration. I welcome your engagement in these national and global initiatives.
All the best, be well, and please serve others. JA