The Global Entrepreneurship Summit heats up in Hyderabad, India

The Global Entrepreneurship Summit heats up in Hyderabad, India

GEN AFRICA | NOVEMBER 29, 2017

Ivanka Trump, Advisor to the United States President and Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India, jointly kicked off the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in India yesterday. Themed ‘Women First, Prosperity for All’, the PM’s key message was a personal invitation to entrepreneurs and global investors to embrace and invest in the country. Much of the discussions at the summit focused on women entrepreneurship and advancing key public policies that will help to empower entrepreneurial women.

“To my entrepreneur friends from across the globe, I would like to say: Come, make in India, invest in India – for India – and for the world. I invite each one of you to become a partner in India’s growth story. And once again, I assure you of our wholehearted support,” Modi said while addressing the 2017 inaugural Indian Global Entrepreneurship Summit, which was attended by thousands of entrepreneurs and investors from over 160 countries.

Modi reassured all young entrepreneurs in India that each of them has something valuable to contribute towards creating a New India by 2022. “You are vehicles of change and instruments of India’s transformation. Our government understands that an environment of transparent policies and a rule of law providing a level-playing field are necessary for entrepreneurship to flourish,” she added.

Speaking from the sideline at the summit, Kizito Okechukwu, Co-chair of GEN Africa’s innovative 22 ON SLOANE, connected with a few incubators, investors and accelerators, such as the T-Hub, which is now one of the largest startup hub in the world. “I am extremely impressed with the work that the Indian Government is undertaking to support start-ups, which are arguably the lifeblood of the world’s business future. At 22 ON SLOANE, we look forward to exploring ways to work with the T-Hub and the Managing Director of GEN India, led by Yatin Thakur, who has been instrumental in setting up various co-working spaces and hubs in the country”, he commented.

Speaking before the PM, Ivanka Trump, stated that “when it comes to equitable laws, while many developed and developing countries have made tremendous strides, there is still much work to be done.” She also added that in some countries, women are not allowed to own property, travel freely, or work without the consent of their husbands. In some other countries, the cultural and family pressure is so great that women do not feel the freedom to work outside the home.

“Our administration is striving to promote greater opportunity for women around the world, both through our domestic reforms and our international initiatives. When women work, it creates a unique multiplier effect. Women are more likely than men to hire other women and to give them access to capital, mentorship and networks. Women are also more likely to reinvest their income back in their families and communities,” she said and lauded PM Narendra Modi for his belief that progress of humanity is incomplete without the empowerment of women.

“Just consider, if India closes the labour force gender gap by half, your economy could grow by over $150 billion in the next three years,” she stressed.

Noting that this is the first time India has hosted the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, the President’s Advisor continued by saying that it is a symbol of the strengthened friendship between our two peoples and the growing economic and security partnership between our two nations. Complimenting India for being one of the fastest growing economies globally, lifting millions out of poverty and for the progress achieved in science and technology, Trump added that “the people of India inspire us all”.

“The people of India have lifted more than 130 million citizens out of poverty. All of you are helping India’s middle class reach its goal of becoming 500 million people by 2030”, she concluded.

— Issued by GEN Africa

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GEN’s 22 ON SLOANE Proudly Opens Residency to Its First 80 Top Start-ups

GEN’s 22 ON SLOANE Proudly Opens Residency to Its First 80 Top Start-ups

22 ON SLOANE | NOVEMBER 28, 2017

The Atrium: 22 ON SLOANE

After a targeted two-week campaign to invite start-ups to apply for residency at the Global Entrepreneurship Network’s 22 0N SLOANE campus, an overwhelming 800 applications were received with 300 invited to finally pitch their projects. Following serious deliberation, amidst much anticipation in the entrepreneurial space, 22 ON SLOANE is proud to announce its 80 chosen few. These African start-ups will be based at its new state-of-the-art campus in one of the continent’s most prominent business district, Johannesburg, South Africa. The majority of the selected start-ups are based in FinTech, Energy, Manufacturing, Information and Communication Tech, Engineering and Services.

So what makes 22 ON SLOANE one of the most attractive and progressive campus for creators, innovators and inventors? It’s the largest one-of-a-kind start-up campus in Africa, offering disruptive start-ups and innovative SMEs a complete turnkey solution to scale, from the initial idea all the way to sustainable commercialisation, funding opportunities and access to markets. This is achieved by using a global and diverse team of experienced entrepreneurs, mentors, scientists, managers, CEOs and funders, which actively supports those enrolled at the campus throughout their journey to build and realise their dreams, while contributing towards job creation in Africa. The campus is set on a 10,000 square metre space with over 200 workstations and offices, Free Wireless connectivity, Tech Labs with 3D printers and Industrial Designers, kitchen facilities, shower facilities, gym, prayer room, siesta room, think-tank rooms, boardrooms, kids and adults playroom, conference centre, 180 parking bays, and the Atrium.

Julia Rachoene, the Lead for Residency Selection, congratulated the top 80 and profusely thanked all 800 applicants. “It has not been an easy decision to identify the chosen rising start-up companies. The adjudication team applied various metrics during the selection process, which looked at the business concept, sustainability and scalability of the businesses”.

Starting in January 2018, 22 ON SLOANE will be offering a variety of programmes, events and workshops, which start-ups can capitalize on. She also encourages all those who did not qualify this time around to keep an eye on the GEN 22 ON SLOANE website and social media pages, in order to ‘Apply For Residency’ throughout the coming year.

The selected 80 residents will be notified directly and orientation will take place on Friday 8th December 2017. The campus will close on Friday 15th December 2017 and re-open on Tuesday 9th January 2018. Residents will have access to the campus 24hrs, 7 days a week, while non-residents and visitors can access the campus on weekdays from 08h00 – 17h00.

In the coming months, 22 ON SLOANE will be looking to attract more start-ups in the new and future industry sectors, such as, Robotics, Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence Technologies, Energy Technologies, Food and Fibre, Fuel cells and Medical technologies.

For more on 22 on Sloane, visit: www.22onsloane.co.

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The Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) and the Department of Small Business Development South Africa officially join forces to fast-track mutual objectives

The Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) and the Department of Small Business Development South Africa officially join forces to fast-track mutual objectives

GLOBAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP NETWORK | NOVEMBER 23, 2017

From left: Jonathan Ortmans, President: Global Entrepreneurship Network and Lindiwe Zulu, Minister of Small Business Development: South Africa

After a schedule-packed working visit to Estonia and Finland, the Minister of Small Business Development South Africa, Ms Lindiwe Zulu recently returned to South Africa armed with a wealth of global entrepreneurial policy insights, specifically those related to start-ups.

The key highlight of the Minister’s trip was her participation in the Start-up Nations Summit, hosted by the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) in Estonia. At this pivotal event, a network of entrepreneurial policymakers from over 60 countries engaged to identify, test and track innovative policy levers and smart public sector-driven programmes for new and young businesses.

“Estonia is among the most forward-thinking governments in the world and we are happy to share our experiences in digital governance”, said Liisa Oviir, Estonian Minister for Entrepreneurship. “Digital technologies have made a huge difference for our entrepreneurs – proof that governments across the world can also play a significant role to help their entrepreneurs start and scale faster”, she added.

The Summit was the official conclusion of GEN’s Global Entrepreneurship Week 2017, a celebration of entrepreneurship boasting over 40 000 events with around 10 million participants in 170 countries.

For Minister Zulu and the GEN President Jonathan Ortmans, it now made perfect entrepreneurial sense to collaborate in a more official capacity and the Minister has signed a Memorandum of Understanding in order to help fast-track the achievement of their mutual entrepreneurial development objectives.

The terms and understanding laid out in the MOU for collaboration include:

 

  • Participating in the annual Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) and advocating for greater ecosystem cohesion;
  • Participating in international platforms, such as the Start-up Nations Summit (SNS) and the Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC), including GEC+ in order to explore new markets and collaborations from which SMMEs can benefit;
  • Working with GEN Africa to realise the 2017-2020 Strategy across multiple industry sectors;
  • Engaging SMMEs to understand existing ‘red tape’ issues through platforms, such as the SMME Policy Hackathon;
  • Facilitating access to market for the SMMEs and start-ups by opening up new markets for businesses in countries through exhibitions and partnerships – and to ensure they are fully informed about government regulations in perspective countries;
  • Providing support to the 22 ON SLOANE Start-up Campus, an innovative GEN Africa initiative, which provides business development and advisory services to residents and walk-ins.

“For us to increase the rate of established high growth enterprises, we need to assist start-ups to scale and create a breed of enterprises that are sustainable, competitive and contribute to regional and global value chains”, Minister Zulu concludes.

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GEN and the United Nations partner on African Entrepreneurship Policy Forum

GEN and the United Nations partner on African Entrepreneurship Policy Forum

GLOBAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP NETWORK | DECEMBER 14, 2017

Photo Credit: Kigali Convention Center

The Global Entrepreneurship Network partnered with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and Rwanda Development Board to host the African Entrepreneurship Policy Forum in Kigali, Rwanda, from 13th -14th December 2017. The event forms an essential part of a series of global discussions aimed to explore innovative public sector approach to stimulate new firm formation and growth.

African countries realize that entrepreneurship and systematic approaches to the formulation of related policies are vital in contributing to inclusive growth, sustainable development and the overall objectives of the African Union 2063 Agenda. UNCTAD has designed a project to support six developing countries (Cameroon, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Gambia, Tanzania) to design and implement effective policies to promote entrepreneurship and create an enabling environment in which entrepreneurship can flourish.

Mr Thakhani Makhuvha, Chief Executive Officer, Small Enterprise Finance Agency says “The robust discussions we had here at the African Entrepreneurship Policy Forum have indeed brought fundamental need to harmonize and integrate regional policies that will assist in the development of entrepreneurship ecosystem in the region and the continent. It is my view that we eliminate silos but instead develop the best practice approach for the continent as a whole”.

Fiorina Mugione, Chief Entrepreneurship Section, UNCTAD extended her gratitude to partners and acknowledged GEN’s efforts towards building and igniting the entrepreneurship movement in Africa. Key Components of the UNCTAD Entrepreneurship Policy Framework include the following:

 

  • Formulating national entrepreneurship strategy
  • Optimizing the regulatory environment
  • Enhancing entrepreneurship education and skills
  • Facilitating technology exchange and innovation
  • Improving access to finance
  • Promoting awareness and networking

This forum has been attended by many senior state officials, finance business executives, entrepreneurs, Regional Directors of Development Institutions, thus offering the opportunity to network and deliberate on best practices of enterprise development. The GEN Africa delegation was well represented by GEN Managing Directors from Kenya, Botswana and Mauritius. Whilst the South African delegation included; Mr Thakani Makhuvha, CEO – Small Enterprise Finance Agency (Sefa), Ms Mmbodi Rambau, Senior Development Impact Support Specialist – Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and Ms. Alesimo Mwanga, Research Director – 22ONSLOANE + SEA Africa. “This has truly been a great experience, and very encouraging seeing several high level African government officials, our GEN African executives and entrepreneurs participating in these discussions. In order for African’s to realize growth potentials, we need to understand that policies cannot be developed in isolation, this requires concerted effort from private sector, civil society and entrepreneurs” says Ms Mwanga.

“At this event I will also share insights on IDCs focus on funding transactions in Africa and the different partnerships we have established with various organisations in Africa. I also look forward to learning best practices from African countries and identify ways that, we, as stakeholders in South Africa may tackle the low success rates on entrepreneurship activity in South Africa and promote intercontinental trade” says Ms Rambau.

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Richard Branson Helps Open #GEW2017, First GEN Startup Campus in Africa

Richard Branson Helps Open #GEW2017, First GEN Startup Campus in Africa

MARK MARICH, VICE PRESIDENT GEN | NOVEMBER 14, 2017

Global Entrepreneurship Week jumped off to an early start this year as Richard Branson, Virgin Group founder, helped launch the first-ever GEN startup campus in Johannesburg, South Africa. The 100,000 square foot campus — offering direct and virtual support services to startups — is the largest known such facility throughout the African continent.

“Every big business in this world was started by an entrepreneur — and small businesses are the ones creating the jobs, innovating and making life better for everybody,” said Branson. “You have to do the hard part first to be able to get into position to make a difference.”

22 ON SLOANE opened to coincide with Global Entrepreneurship Week and the new facility hosts a full slate of events, including a range of masterclass sessions to support promising young entrepreneurs and pitch sessions for them to claim a six-month residency at the new facility. The masterclass sessions include:

 

  • Moving Ideas to Market
  • Access to Funding
  • Doing Business in Africa
  • Social Entrepreneurship and Impact Investing
  • Integrating the Township and Informal Economy
  • SME Manufacturing Techniques
  • Facebook: Boost Your Business + Product Clinic

The vision for the center as a driver of a collaborative and cohesive ecosystem on the African continent came about in the preparation for the Global Entrepreneurship Congress which was hosted by the City of Johannesburg in March 2017. Kizito Okechukwu, Co-Chair of GEN Africa, led the project from concept to creation.

“For us the campus is about building a community from all over the African continent,” said Okechukwu. “I believe that 22 on Sloane is for everyone — and anyone.”

 

As was the case with the Global Entrepreneurship Congress, the new startup campus enjoys strong support from the South African Government. At the launch, Small Business Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu stressed the importance of the effort.

“We can’t afford to let this fail because people that need to be serviced by this campus are the most important people in the economic space of South Africa. The improvement of the economy of South Africa will depend very much on your small and medium enterprises.”

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Vusi Thembekwayo Celebrates the 10th Anniversary of Global Entrepreneurship Week at 22 ON SLOANE

Vusi Thembekwayo Celebrates the 10th Anniversary of Global Entrepreneurship Week at 22 ON SLOANE

GLOBAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP NETWORK | NOVEMBER 13, 2017

Vusi Thembekwayo
Photo Credit: Global Entrepreneurship Network

Vusi Thembekwayo, the rockstar of public speaking, delivered a powerful speech on Monday afternoon at the opening day of Global Entrepreneurship Week, which is being held at the GEN Africa Campus (also known as 22 On Sloane).

Thembekwayo spoke of the global and local challenges facing entrepreneurs, how they can scale-up and move forward even during these tough times. He was addressing a master class attended by hundreds of entrepreneurs.

Last week Friday 10th November, Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Group founder, officially opened the 10th-anniversary celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) where he also participated in the launch of the GEN Africa Campus.

The campus is the first one opened by the Global Entrepreneurship Network and it offers direct and virtual support services to entrepreneurs throughout Africa as well as access to an international network of mentors, investors and entrepreneurial support organizations.

“Entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of any economy, and the South Africa economy is in dire need of quality job creators. Today, we celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Global Entrepreneurship Week and my message is that young people need to embrace this space and make use of 22 on Sloane to connect, share, learn and grow”, says Thembekwayo.

For one week each November, roughly 10 million participants take part in 40,000 events, activities and competitions in more than 165 countries around the world. In the first 10 years of celebrating Global Entrepreneurship Week, more learning about the potential of entrepreneurs and the ability of societies to work together and create great value has been uncovered by the GEN universe. Through broad support from the government of South Africa and the rest of the African continent as well as private sector leaders, 22 on Sloane aims to shape a community of promising entrepreneurs and connect them to the resources they need to succeed.

This week candidates will be competing for residency through a pitching competition. Short-listed applicants will gain a 12-month residency at the startup campus.

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Richard Branson to Open Global Entrepreneurship Week at the Launch of New GEN Startup Campus in Johannesburg

Richard Branson to Open Global Entrepreneurship Week at the Launch of New GEN Startup Campus in Johannesburg

GLOBAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP NETWORK | NOVEMBER 6, 2017

Sir Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group
Photo Credit: Virgin Group

22 ON SLOANE, the continent’s largest startup campus set to open in Joburg.

JOHANNESBURG – Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Group founder, will officially open the 10th-anniversary celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) by participating in the launch of a new startup campus in Johannesburg, South Africa. The campus, 22 on Sloane, is the first one opened by the Global Entrepreneurship Network – offering direct and virtual support services to entrepreneurs throughout Africa as well as access to an international network of mentors, investors and entrepreneurial support organizations.

“Entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of any economy. They are disruptors and innovators who shape our world for the better. This campus launch is going to help to create a new generation of entrepreneurs who will improve peoples’ lives across the continent.” said Branson.

Joining Branson at the launch event are: Jonathan Ortmans, president of the Global Entrepreneurship Network; David Makhura, Premier of Gauteng Province; Lindiwe Zulu, South African Minister of Small Business Development; and Tokozile Xasa, South African Minister of Tourism along with several African Ministers, captains of industry from leading South African and African business networks and promising startups.

The launch event on November 10 signals the opening of Global Entrepreneurship Week – an effort to help anyone, anywhere start and scale a new business. For one week each November, roughly 10 million participants take part in 35,000 events, activities and competitions in more than 165 countries around the world.
“In the first 10 years of celebrating Global Entrepreneurship Week, we learned a great deal about the potential of entrepreneurs and the ability of our societies to work together and create great value,” said Ortmans. “Through broad support from the government of South Africa and the rest of the African continent as well as private sector leaders, 22 on Sloane will shape a community of promising entrepreneurs and connect them to the resources they need to succeed.”

Short-listed applicants for a 12-month residency at the startup campus, will pitch at competitions during Global Entrepreneurship Week to secure a final slot at 22 on Sloane.

Branson has been an active supporter of Global Entrepreneurship Week since the initiative began in 2008 – filming videos, speaking at events, gracing the cover of publications and even hosting a GEW startup competition winner on his privately owned Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands.

For additional information about Global Entrepreneurship Week, visit gew.co.

To learn more about the 22 on Sloane startup campus, visit 22onsloane.co.

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