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Global Entrepreneurship Congress gets under way Print E-mail
14 March 2017

More than 4 000 delegates from Africa and across the globe are converging on the Sandton Convention Centre this week for the ninth edition of the Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC).

Johannesburg is the first African city to host the four-day global showpiece, which will see delegates participating in a series of plenary sessions and discussions aimed at helping entrepreneurs start and scale existing businesses.

The delegates are all advocates of start-up businesses and represent distinct components of the entrepreneurial ecosystems of small businesses.

The congress comes at a time when the City of Johannesburg is placing economic growth at the pinnacle of its priorities. In its 10-point plan, adopted shortly after last year's local government elections, the City’s new administration has committed itself to growing Johannesburg's economy by at least 5% by 2021.

The GEC will significantly stimulate the city’s economy, with about R45-million expected to be generated over the four-day event. It will also put Johannesburg in the spotlight and showcase the city’s capabilities to host world-class events.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, Small Business Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu, Johannesburg Executive Mayor Cllr Herman Mashaba, Telkom chairman Jabu Mabuza and Creative Counsel co-founder Gil Oved will be among local politicians and entrepreneurs who will address the GEC.

Cllr Sharon Peetz, the City of Johannesburg’s Member of the Mayoral Committee for Economic Development, said the City was very excited to be hosting such “a prestigious event”.

“We’re very excited about what we’re about to embark on tomorrow (Tuesday March 14) and that we won the right to host this event back in 2015,” said Cllr Peetz.

Speaking during an interview on Kaya FM this morning (Monday March 13), Cllr Peetz said hosting such a big event would continue to position Johannesburg as a world-class city and a destination of choice for global conferences.

“We’ve formulated very strong relationships with both the organisers here in Africa and the owners of the event. The conference is in its ninth year now and pulls together a collection of voices from entrepreneurial ecosystems around the world,” Cllr Peetz said.

She said Johannesburg was a budding start-up hub both from an economic point of view and was hosting major international events.

“There are a number of programmes that are taking place - from how start-ups are beginning to solve major global challenges such as the food and water crises that we have to identifying new trends in increasing the availability of early capital, exploring efforts to unleash the potential of women and youth, which is incredibly important for us in Johannesburg,” Cllr Peetz said.

She said although it was now too late for people to register for the congress, they could still access full speeches to be delivered at the conference on both the GEC and City websites.

“In addition, we have seven SME hubs located across the City’s regions. We’re going to make sure we print out the positioning statements that will come out of this conference so everybody can have access to those,” Cllr Peetz said.


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Last Updated on 15 March 2017