KIZITO OKECHUKWU | NOVEMBER 16, 2020
The Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) is the largest celebration of entrepreneurs and innovators who bring ideas to life and improve economic welfare across the world.
For over a decade, the annually-held platform has attracted millions of people in some 180 countries, with over 20 000 partners participating in events and initiatives.
The Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) uses the GEW as its flagship annual programme that encourages ecosystem stakeholders to launch new programmes, fund startups, explore progressive policies for their countries, address challenges faced by startups, hack on solutions for various obstacles and work together towards building a stronger and more sustainable ecosystem.
Although the GEW will be held under very different circumstance this year due to COVID-19, many ecosystem stakeholders are still planning to hold hybrid events, because entrepreneurship is more important now than ever. The pandemic has shown us that entrepreneurs are crucial to restart the economies that have been decimated and to help rebuild brighter future for all.
In this light, the GEW also presents an ideal and inspirational opportunity to restore hope for our collective communities and countries, as pandemic-induced unemployment and business closures continue to rise rapidly.
Digital Africa, a €130m initiative founded by the French government to assist Africa’s technology startups, is proud to fully support the GEN-led GEW – a commitment aligned with its mission to equip African tech entrepreneurs with capabilities to design and scale-up ground-breaking innovations for the real economy.
As co-Chair of the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) Africa and the Board vice President and interim President of Digital Africa, I am both confident and excited that the collaboration between the two entities will inspire more pinpoint strategic focus and renewed energy on how best to build and support Africa’s tech startup ecosystem.
Both GEN and Digital Africa have achieved vast empowering successes and leveraging on each other now will prove highly beneficial. While GEN already has operations in 42 African countries and a unique network in support of entrepreneurship and creativity, Digital Africa has created programmes to facilitate connections between tech startups and those who are ready to bet on tech talents – including the Africa Next Community and the recently launched Bridge Fund by Digital Africa, both designed to support co-investments to scale up most promising tech projects. We need to work closely to see how best to mobilize all these entrepreneurial ecosystems and make them better and stronger.
The Global Entrepreneurship Week will be held from 16-22 November. Should you wish to participate in various events in your area, please visit the Global Entrepreneurship Network website for more details – We look forward to your contribution, your ideas and proposals to make African startups ecosystems even more resilient!
22 on Sloane will be celebrating the GEW on Tuesday 17th November under the theme Digitally Enabled, so please join us. Register now at: www.22onsloane.co
Kizito Okechukwu is the co-Chair of the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) Africa and the Board vice President and interim President of Digital Africa.
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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