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                      Office of the Press Secretary
                           (New York, New York)

For Immediate Release September 22, 1997




The American economy today is the envy of the world. Since the beginning of my Administration, our economy has created nearly 13 million new jobs, unemployment has declined to 4.9 percent, and America has once again become the world's leading exporter.

Minority entrepreneurs have played a vital role in this success story. With their faith in our free enterprise system, their determination to overcome any barriers to success, their willingness to work long and hard and to make the most of every opportunity, they epitomize the American can-do spirit. They create jobs in communities where jobs are most needed, and they set a powerful example of achievement for young people seeking to make the most of their lives.

In the years ahead, these minority business men and business women will become increasingly important to our Nation's competitive edge in the global economy, which will offer great rewards to those who truly understand life beyond our borders. Because of their racial, linguistic, and cultural diversity, minority entrepreneurs are uniquely positioned to meet the needs of this dynamic international marketplace.

Recognizing the contributions that minority enterprises make to the social and economic fabric of our Nation, we must continue to remove any barriers that prevent talented men and women of every racial and ethnic background from participating fully in America's economic mainstream. Working in partnership, government and private industry must ensure that minority-owned firms have equal access to capital, technical assistance, new markets, and opportunities for growth. We must attract new entrepreneurs to the marketplace and encourage existing firms to expand. By doing so, we can ensure that America's promise will continue to shine brightly for all our people.

As we observe Minority Enterprise Development Week, let us honor the energy, determination, and optimism of our Nation's minority entrepreneurs, whose hard work has done so much to help keep America strong, prosperous, and full of hope for the future.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM J. CLINTON, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim September 21 through September 27, 1997, as minority Enterprise Development Week. I call on all Americans to commemorate this event with appropriate ceremonies and activities in acknowledgment of the many contributions that minority entrepreneurs bring to our national life.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this nineteenth day of September, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twenty-second.


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