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South Africa is the host of the Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC) 2017 between March 13-16. The bid was awarded to Johannesburg as part of the opening ceremony at GEC 2015 in Milan, Italy.

The Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC) is an inter-disciplinary gathering of start-up champions from more than 150 countries and attracts over 4000 delegates. These delegates represent distinct components of their entrepreneurial ecosystems and are focused on how best to help entrepreneurs start and scale new companies.

“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 Joburg’s credentials as a leading business events destination, capable of hosting such important global meetings,” says Ruby Mathang, City of Johannesburg’s MMC for Economic Development. “A large four-day conference like this, which is expected  to attract some 4000 international delegates has significant economic benefits for the tourism, leisure and hospitality sectors – approximately R45 million for Johannesburg alone.”

The Congress has previously been held in the United States, UAE, China, UK, Brazil, Russia and Italy. South Africa is now proud to be the first African country to host the event.

“The Global Entrepreneurship Network continues to expand its involvement in Africa in support of helping the next generation of entrepreneurs there to rebrand the continent and permanently shift perceptions,” said Jonathan Ortmans, president of the Global Entrepreneurship Network. “Johannesburg will provide an important backdrop for startup champions everywhere to come together in building one global entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

At the GEC in Milan, Minister Lindiwe Zulu praised the efforts of all bid partners, which were instrumental as a team to ensure that the bid came to South Africa.

“This is a great opportunity for South Africa and Africa as a continent to showcase its entrepreneurial prowess to the world. The GEC is a platform that would open doors for our youth, ignite entrepreneurship and put our youth in the global arena” emphasised the Minister.

The successful bid has come about as a result of a partnership between the City’s Convention Bureau and major bid partner, SEA Africa, a research and development company with a global reach.  SEA Africa supports businesses in various African markets and is also a key role player in the annual Global Entrepreneurship Week in South Africa.

Speaking in Milan was the Executive Head of SEA Africa, Kizito Okechukwu, who managed and led the bid, joined the Minister in lauding the collective work done by the bid partners.

“This really shows collaboration between the private and public sector. Collaboration is vital and we need to build sustainable ecosystems for entrepreneurial growth in Africa. The work starts right now because we need to build up to 2017. We would do this in partnership with various global and local partners and we also invite all stakeholders in the entrepreneurial space within Africa to engage, support and participate in this process”.

Okechukwu thanked the Minister for working tirelessly in support of the bid, the Mayor of Johannesburg, represented by Cllr Ruby Mathang the MMC for Economic Development, Ravi Naidoo the Executive Head of Economic Development, and Happy Ralinala, the Head of Absa Business Banking at Barclays Africa, who with her team, made this possible.

The GEC pulls together a broad collection of voices from across the entrepreneurial spectrum.

 

 

Kenneth Omeruo
Omeruo Ndukaku Kenneth is an Innovation Management expert,the CEO of Emerging Media,a new media company.He is a member of ISPIM - International Society for Professional Innovation Management and the US-Africa chamber of Commerce.He is the Founder of TechTrends Nigeria Blog,Nigeria Innovation Summit and the African Innovation Academy.Kenneth is a highly sought-after Internet Marketing Consultant who has through his seminars, articles, training and consulting, helped many organizations, Individuals, Businesses maximize the Internet for business purposes.Kenneth has also being featured as a guest on the TV show TODAY ON STV Nigeria and on Bloomberg Africa TV.He is the author of the best –selling Internet Book: How To Create Unlimited Internet Wealth. He is a syndicated columnist with the following Newspapers in Nigeria: Daily Independent, Financial Standard, PUNCH, BusinessDay, and Sun.Kenneth organises the EduNet Conference for Universities in Nigeria. Kenneth is a member of Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria( ISPON ) Roundtable For Capacity Development in Nigeria,member pre-selection committee for Nigeria at the UN World Summit Awards,a Panelist for Youth Enterprise With Innovation in Nigeria(YouWIN)-a Federal government initiative created by the ministry of finance,supported by ministries of Communications Technology,Youth Development,Worldbank and DFID. A 2013 Judge at the Google Cloud Developers Challenge for Sub Saharan Africa.He has been a contributing editor of Nigeria Communications Week,Africa Telecom and IT Business Magazine,ICT Today magazine,M2 magazine.Kenneth has been invited to the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation Forum, Oracle Open World Conference USA, Oracle Cloud World Dubai, and GITEX Dubai. He now lives in New York with his family and presently working on an Open Innovation project for Nigeria. You can contact Kenneth through email: (kenneth (at)techtrendsng.com) Facebook:www.facebook.com/Kenneth.omeruo On Twitter:www.twitter.com/kennethomeruo Skpe:Kenneth.Omeruo

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