Ivanka Trump is learning more about economic policy as she takes on a more visible role in and around Washington.
On Wednesday, the first daughter visited the Raymond V. Haysbert Center for Entrepreneurship at the Greater Baltimore Urban League, where she participated in a roundtable discussion with minority business owners, mostly from the Baltimore area.
National Urban League President Marc Morial invited Trump, who has stressed her interest in working on policies to benefit women in business. He said he wanted to show her “a highly successful program that is supported by the federal government that makes a difference in the success of small entrepreneurs.”
“I feel like Ivanka listened very intently and asked some very intelligent questions,” Morial said, noting that she wanted to understand which programs worked and could be implemented on a larger scale.
During the roundtable, the business owners shared stories about the challenges they had overcome to achieve their business goals – two said they had previously been homeless – and discussed the public and private programs that helped them achieve, according to a White House official who requested anonymity to provide details of the event.
Morial said there are about a dozen National Urban League entrepreneurship centers operated by local affiliates around the country. Collectively they serve about 10,000 people a year and are supported by public and private funding.
Also participating in the roundtable were Linda McMahon, who heads the Small Business Administration, and Dina Powell, an assistant to the president and senior counselor for economic initiatives.
Morial, who has been critical of President Donald Trump, said he was happy to reach out to Ivanka Trump over a shared interest in economic development.
“We will oppose those things that we are duty bound to oppose, but we will keep our doors open to look for areas of commonality,” he said. “I call it an intelligent approach.”