Man and woman walking together (© Money Sharma/AFP/Getty Images)
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and White House adviser Ivanka Trump at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (© Money Sharma/AFP/Getty Images)

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday opened the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Hyderabad, India, with an emphatic call to empower women and unleash a new generation of entrepreneurs “to make the world a better place.”

White House adviser Ivanka Trump, the head of the U.S. delegation, also addressed the gathering of more than 1,200 entrepreneurs and 300 investors from across the globe, most of them women.

The U.S. and Indian governments are co-hosting the three-day gathering, where attendees will take part in workshops, master classes and pitch competitions and connect with mentors and potential investors.

To the hundreds of young Indian entrepreneurs at the assembly, Modi said, “You are vehicles of change and instruments of India’s transformation.” He also invited the scores of top foreign business leaders at the summit to “invest in India.”

Trump, a former businesswoman, praised Modi for helping lift 130 million people out of poverty and for building one of the world’s fastest-growing economies. Women still face steep obstacles globally to starting their own businesses, including limited access to capital and mentors, she noted.

Echoing Modi’s past words, she said, “The progress of humanity is incomplete without the empowerment of women.”