Press Release | November 14, 2022
The Global Entrepreneurship Network Africa (GEN Africa) announced Cape Town as the host city for the Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC+Africa), scheduled to be held on 13-14 September 2023. The announcement took place on the 14th of November 2022 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), which will also be the host centre for the congress. The GEC+Africa will be hosted in partnership with the Western Cape Provincial Government, Department of Small Business Development, Department of Social Development, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), South African Tourism, African Bank, Telkom and the Cape Innovation Technology Initiative.
The GEC+Africa 2023 will welcome over 1500 delegates to the mother city. These will comprise of Startups and SMMEs, investors, policymakers and entrepreneurship support organisations and Corporates. With over 50 African countries and other international delegates set to be represented, the congress promises to convene key ecosystem players that play critical roles in the development of SMMEs and startups on the continent. GEC+Africa is an initiative of GEN and it is a gathering of entrepreneurs and leaders from more than 50 African nations committed to advancing entrepreneurial activity throughout their own countries in Africa. Furthermore, GEC+Africa will include other international thought leaders and practitioners globally who have become a part of GEN’s global movement that advances entrepreneurship as a means of building economies and expanding human welfare.
Speaking during the media briefing, the Minister of Small Business Development Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams said that “GEC+Africa should be a game-changer for South African entrepreneurs. We need to ensure that this congress presents an opportunity for our SMMEs and startups to access various African markets and meet global investors that they can partner with”.
GEC+Africa 2023 will be a platform to strengthen Africa’s vibrant entrepreneurship ecosystem and find better ways to support entrepreneurs on the continent. “Over the past few years, we have seen the growth of entrepreneurs and their potential in enhancing development”, remarked the Minister of Social Development, Lindiwe Zulu, who added that her department is finding ways to move from social grants to encouraging social entrepreneurship ventures amongst its beneficiaries.
The Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) Africa also hopes that the congress will accelerate its vision to grow its footprint from 43 countries on the continent to 54. GEN Africa’s key mandate is to support and connect African entrepreneurs to the best global resources and investor network, create platforms that will drive a coordinated, consolidated, and collaborative entrepreneurial ecosystems and advocate for policies that will drive sustainable growth for entrepreneurs on the continent. Furthermore, the GEC+Africa 2023 objectives are aligned with the African Continental Free Trade Area’s (AFCFTA) goal of supporting SMMEs and startups with special focus on industrialisation, which will drive job creation for the youth and explore the future of business.
According to Western Cape Premier Allan Winde, Cape Town is one of the most renowned innovation cities and he expressed that the City is really looking forward to welcoming thousands of innovators and entrepreneurs that drive change and create much needed jobs.
The Congress will be managed by 22 On Sloane, which is Africa’s largest startup campus based in Johannesburg. Various lead-up activities to the congress will also be held across the continent and the rest of South Africa.
Other dignitaries that graced the press announcement include, but not limited to: the President of GEN, Mr Jonathan Ortmans, the President of the US-Africa Development Foundation, Mr Travis Adkins, Telkom’s Enterprise Supplier Development Executive, Ms Mmathebe Zvobwo and African Bank’s Group Executive: Transformation and Sustainability, Ms Edna Montse.
22 On Sloane is the largest startup campus in Africa. The campus offers disruptive startups and innovative SMEs a complete turnkey solution to scale, from the initial idea all the way to commercialisation, funding opportunities and access to markets. Its aim is to nurture the entrepreneurial mindset, ensure their sustainability, and explore development of new industries and contribute towards job creation in Africa.
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