NGLCC Announces $4 Million Public-Private Partnership to Impact Global LGBT Equality through Entrepreneurship and Economic Development
| By Joanna Dees
In a historic move, last week U.S. National Security Advisor, Ambassador Susan Rice, announced a new 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.
"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,” said Ambassador Susan Rice, National Security Advisor to President Obama.
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.
"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,” said Claire Lucas, Senior Advisor for Public-Private Partnerships at USAID
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.
“LinguiSearch is proud to be one of the NGLCC’s private sector partners in this groundbreaking initiative. By committing resources and expertise towards the implementation of this historic undertaking, we are helping to foster economic empowerment and create new financial opportunities for LGBT businesses both here and abroad. Our investment in this partnership will allow LinguiSearch to develop new international trading and strategic partners, which can only strengthen our business and bottom line,” said David Schellenberg, President & CEO of LenguiSearch, an NGLCC Certified LGBTBE®.
“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,” said Justin Nelson, Co-Founder and President at NGLCC.
In addition to funding provided by USAID, NGLCC has raised almost $3 million in private sector funds and in-kind services for the partnership. Private sector partners include Wells Fargo, MillerCoors, Google, American Airlines, 1st Choice Financial Group, American Language Technologies, Fourth Wall Events, GayHills, JTraczDesigns, L7z Group, LinguiSearchNeil Cerbone Associates, and Site, Search & Select.
More information regarding the NGLCC-USAID partnership will be discussed at the upcoming NGLCC National Business and Leadership Conference July 29-August 1, in Las Vegas, NW.