Remarks by Ambassador Laura F. Dogu
Managua, February 28, 2017
Thank you for inviting me to participate in this very special program with you today. I am always pleased to have the chance to meet Thriive’s entrepreneurs who have the perfect combination of innovation, determination to build new businesses, and compassion for their communities. All together, these qualities support an environment leading to sustainable and strong growth and development. I congratulate everyone here for working for a more prosperous and inclusive Nicaragua.
The need for entrepreneurs like you is greater today than it has ever been before in Nicaragua. The world is changing rapidly, and if Nicaragua is to develop more rapidly it must change with it.
For instance, Nicaragua has a large and growing garment and sewing industry that provides thousands of jobs. But technology can impact this industry. In September 2016 in Seattle Washington, a robot sewed a t-shirt, the first time a garment was made entirely by robots and machines.
Next month, we are taking a group of Nicaraguan businesspeople to a construction trade show in Las Vegas. There, they will see the world’s first 3D-printed excavator. Even large construction machinery can now be built entirely from a printer! How will technology impact Nicaragua’s development?
Small businesses like those here tonight can compete with big businesses using technology. Are you thinking how you can use technology in your businesses?
In the United States, there are many examples of social entrepreneurship. One of them is the company Airbnb. The hospitality service company has a global program that provides complimentary short stays to people and families during moments of necessity, whether it is patients travelling for medical treatment, low-income prospective students visiting a university or social entrepreneurs seeking to transform the world.
Another company, TOMS, has promised to donate one pair of shoes for every pair sold. It is now extending its “One for One” campaign to support potable water initiatives as well.
Tonight we will recognize one person who has provided a particularly meaningful and innovative impact to Nicaraguan society. You may not be mentioned in the headlines of newspapers, but your daily work as private entrepreneurs, innovators, and community members is the foundation upon which the future prosperity of Nicaragua is based.
The Embassy is proud of our support to entrepreneurs and small businesses, recognizing their critical role in the future of the country.
Let me congratulate Thriive again for its innovative and proactive approach and its success here in Nicaragua over the past several years. Thriive understands the value of giving back, of demonstrating how the success of one business can be the success of all within a community. And congratulations to the finalists for having put into practice the concept of social entrepreneurship. Through your actions, more Nicaraguans can be included in the prosperity of Nicaragua. Thank you.