PAGE Ambassador – Brian Chesky of Airbnb

Brian Chesky: So
I’m Brian Chesky. I’m cofounder and CEO of
AirBnB and I’m very excited to be here today being
invited by the president and Secretary Pritzker and I’m
going to be talking about entrepreneurship in Cuba. We just launched in Cuba
about 40 days ago and we now — we launched with
1,000 homes in Cuba. We now have 2,000 homes,
so it’s doubled since we launched. And we think there’s this
incredibly vibrant community of what we call
“micro-entrepreneurs.” People who want to be able
to earn income and they can start a very, very small
business and launching Airbnb was a very, very
important step for them. I think the amazing thing
is that an environment that fosters entrepreneurship is
one where people are just exposed to entrepreneurs. And I think that’s probably
the most important thing, you know? For me, just knowing that
being an entrepreneur and starting a company was an
available option became massive and I moved to San
Francisco — I didn’t really know what I wanted to do,
but I met all these people that were starting
companies. And it was a bit
contagious and I think in a very good way. So I think the same
thing for Cuba — the conditions are ripe. They just need to know
that’s an available option for them — that you
can start a business. That you can
start a company. Other people are doing
it and it’s not so hard. The idea of an entrepreneur
means to be empowered — to be able to create your own
destiny and to kind of create the kind of world you
want to live in rather than fitting into that
kind of world. I think that is something
that people all over the world want to be a part of.

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