2016 has been filled with a range of emotions, especially concerning the state of our very own government. The ongoing presidential election has been nothing short of a range of dissatisfaction with our government system to the clash of fundamentally different ideological ideals. As a result, we at ICSB feel that this year, especially more than any other year past, is an important one for small and medium sized businesses. The United States is at a crossroads in terms of ideological beliefs and what we as a nation will prioritize and strive towards socially, politically, internationally, and economically. Located at the heart of our nations capital, GW October will provide you a innovated perspective on how we can grow and engage SMEs in this vital time in the national economy as well as a consequential aftereffect growth here will do in the international economic sphere. ICSB is pleased to announce some of our speakers for our annual GW October Conference! Featuring a diverse range of professions, from politicians, academics, researchers, and entrepreneurs, GW October will be an amazing meeting of intellectuals each giving their own perspectives and insights on how we can access new markets and opportunities, all under the great venue of George Washington University and the World Bank.
Maria Contreras-Sweet, Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)

Maria Contreras-Sweet was sworn in as the 24th Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and as a member of President Obama’s cabinet on April 7, 2014. The SBA is charged with supporting America’s 28 million small businesses, which create a majority of US jobs and employ half of our nation’s private-sector workforce.  The Agency oversees the world’s largest seed fund and the largest middle market fund of funds, as well as a $120 billion loan portfolio.  It also directs the world’s largest business counseling network and one-quarter of the federal procurement activity to small business. As a business leader, California state cabinet official and entrepreneur, her achievements in bringing efficiencies and modernization to large scale organizations, have earned her international acclaim. Her drive to bring SBA into the digital age, and expand into broader domestic and global markets has yielded record results in lending and contracting for small businesses. She started three businesses, including a community bank in downtown Los Angeles, focused on small and mid-size businesses where she served as its executive chairwoman for seven years.

Mr. Mariano Mayer, Argentina National Secretary of Entrepreneurs and SMEs

Mariano Mayer serves as National Secretary for Entrepreneurs and Small & Medium Enterprises, which belongs to the Minister of Production and was previously appointed as the Head of the General Direction of Entrepreneurship of Buenos Aires City. Since 2000 he has actively participated, as a lawyer, in start-ups, investment and sale of new companies, and has advised both entrepreneurs as well as funds. He also teaches in several institutions dedicated to promote the entrepreneur activity in Argentina. In September 2013 he was appointed as the Head of the General Direction of Entrepreneurship of Buenos Aires City, which belongs to the Undersecretary of Creative Economy, both established as part of the new “Innovation Plan” for the City. In December 2015 he was appointed as the National Secretary for Entrepreneurs and Small & Medium Enterprises, which belongs to the Minister of Production.

Anabel González is Senior Director of the World Bank Group Global Practice on Trade and Competitiveness

In this capacity, she leads a team of 500 people to design and implement the World Bank Group’s global and country agenda in the areas of trade, investment climate, competitiveness,innovation and entrepreneurship. Anabel served as Costa Rica’s Minister of Foreign Trade from 2010 to 2014. During her tenure, she led Costa Rica’s efforts to join the OECD, negotiated, approved, and implemented six major free trade agreements, and implemented investment climate enhancement policies that contributed to attracting over 140 new investment projects. Anabel is the current Chair of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Competitiveness.

With these incredibly established, insightful, and motivated speakers geared up for GW October, we at ICSB strongly desire conversation and attention to be driven towards the development of SMEs and opening up new opportunities in untapped markets. We strongly encourage academics, entrepreneurs, and policymakers from all spectrum’s of our economy to attend and let their voices be heard. Small and medium sized economies serve as the backbone of our economy and serve as the catalyst for national growth not only financially but socially and politically. GW October seeks to encourage, motivate, and show the world the true capabilities of SMEs. Register Today!