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16/03/2017: Kudos as Joburg Hosts Successful Global Entrepreneurship Congress
16 March 2017
More than 4 000 delegates from Africa and across the globe converged at the Sandton Convention Centre this week for the ninth edition of the Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC).

The congress coincides with the new administration’s commitment to economic growth as a priority area in order to ensure a 5% growth in the economy by 2021, as well as reducing unemployment to under 20%.

Johannesburg is the first African city to host the four-day global showpiece, which saw delegates participating in a series of plenary sessions and discussions aimed at enriching global entrepreneurial ecosystems. Spearheaded by the Joburg Convention Bureau, the rights to host the GEC 2017 were won in 2015, in conjunction with local organisers, SEA Africa. The City of Johannesburg also received an award for being the best host city of the GEC.

The GEN Compass Awards that were held at the Theatre on Track in Midrand saw Phelisa Mangcu, from the City’s Department of Economic Development, honoured for being instrumental in getting the support of the City of Johannesburg to host the GEC in 2017. Getting the buy in and support of the host city was very critical in ensuring a convincing bid. Kizito Okechukwu, the Executive Head of SEA Africa, the local organisers said: "Phelisa worked tirelessly by advising SEA Africa, pulling together the Joburg Tourism team and ensuring that Johannesburg won the bid to host GEC 2017".

The delegates are all advocates of start-up businesses and represent distinct components of the entrepreneurial ecosystems of small businesses around the world. Lessons learnt from the congress will significantly stimulate the City’s economic strategy and ensure Johannesburg evolves into an entrepreneurial hub for South Africa and the continent.

No less than R45-million in economic value is expected over the four-day event from participants of the congress as they take advantage of our urban tourism offerings. This event has also put Johannesburg in the spotlight and has been a showcase for the City’s proven expertise in hosting world-class events.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, Small Business Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu, Gauteng Premier David Makhura, Johannesburg Executive Mayor Cllr Herman Mashaba, ‘serial entrepreneur’ Jabu Mabuza and Creative Counsel co-founder Gil Oved were among local politicians and entrepreneurs who addressed the GEC.

Member of the Mayoral Committee for Economic Development, Cllr Sharon 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.

For more information, please contact:
Laura Vercueil
PR and Communications Manager: MMC Economic Development
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Tel: 011 703 5257 | Cell: 082 469 6333

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Last Updated on 16 March 2017