SA to host Africa’s 1st Global Entrepreneurship Congress


The South African city of Johannesburg will host the first Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC) to take place in Africa in 2017, it was today announced by the Global Entrepreneurship Network during the opening ceremony of this year’s event in Milan, Italy.

Disrupt Africa reported yesterday Africa is to be under the spotlight at this year’s Global Entrepreneurship Congress, with two events focused on the continent set to take place and a number of nominations from the continent for the event’s awards ceremony.

That role is set to get bigger in two year’s time, when Johannesburg will host the ninth edition of the congress.

“I am confident that this award will help sustain the momentum of an entrepreneurial revolution that was given impetus by President Jacob Zuma when he announced the establishment of the new Ministry of Small Business Development. GEC 2017 will ensure that small business development remains firmly on the national agenda and the radar screen of all stakeholders,” said Lindiwe Zulu, South Africa’s minister of small business development, accepting the award on behalf of Johannesburg.

“This is indeed an honour and also an opportunity to entrench the City of Johannesburg’s objective to encourage entrepreneurship in order to stimulate economic growth and create jobs, while also emphasising Johannesburg’s credentials as a leading business events destination, capable of hosting such important global meetings,” said Ruby Mathang, City of Johannesburg MMC for Economic Development.

“A large four-day conference like this, which is expected to attract some 4,000 international delegates has significant economic benefits for the tourism, leisure and hospitality sectors – approximately ZAR45 million (US$3.6 million) for Johannesburg alone.”

Jonathan Ortmans, president of the Global Entrepreneurship Network, said his organisation was expanding its involvement in Africa in support of helping the next generation of entrepreneurs in rebranding the continent and shifting perceptions.

“Johannesburg will provide an important backdrop for startup champions everywhere to come together in building one global entrepreneurial ecosystem,” he said.

Zulu praised the efforts of all bid partners, including Johannesburg’s Convention Bureau and SEA Africa, a research and development company with a global reach.


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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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