GEN partnered with MiSK Foundation to launch the Entrepreneurship World Cup (EWC), and now it is even bigger and better than last year. EWC Argentina is organized by GEN Argentina, a national affiliate of the Global Entrepreneurship Network. We spoke with Jorge Lawson, its managing director who travelled to Riyadh to support Sumato ID which made it to the final five on the main stage at the EWC Global Finals. Lawson reflects on how the Entrepreneurship World Cup came to be a fabulous tool to reference and unite the entire national ecosystem.
This article is part of a series highlighting EWC national organizers around the world.
ABOUT YOUR COUNTRY’S STARTUP ECOSYSTEM
EWC Global: Tell us about the startup ecosystem in your country. What are its main characteristics? If you could change one thing to make it better, what would it be? Who are the stars of your country’s ecosystem?
Jorge Lawson: The ecosystem of Argentina works by zones or regions. There is currently no national policy promoting them. The most organized is the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem of the province of Córdoba: 64 institutions that work together and now have legal status. It is a unique model including NGOs, universities, states, accelerators, incubators and a Board of Directors. I have the honor of having been its founder when I served as the Minister of Industry of Córdoba.
Another interesting space is the entrepreneurial clubs developed by our previous government. They exist in many provinces and the majority is locally supported. This allows for them to remain open despite the change of government and lack of national economic support. Most of the activity related to entrepreneurs are concentrated within these clubs.
GEN Argentina, specifically, has relationships with most of the clubs and also with many local governments. We are closely related with almost all of these institutions and act as an articulator of the national ecosystem.
I believe that Argentina needs public policies that contemplate specific tax, labor and financing rules for entrepreneurs. Today, they are governed by the same rules as large companies. I wouldn't say there are any relevant stars, because each one occupies its own space.
ABOUT YOUR ORGANIZATION
EWC Global: Tell us about your organization. What does it do to support entrepreneurs and/or grow your startup ecosystem?
Jorge Lawson: GEN Argentina formally began in 2018 and since our start, we have been working to become a reliable interlocutor among all organizations. Events such as GEW and EWC have allowed us to gain space by inviting our entrepreneurs to work together in events and build a globally recognized name.
ABOUT ENTREPRENEURSHIP WORLD CUP
EWC Global: When did you decide to get involved in the Entrepreneurship World Cup and why?
Jorge Lawson: I had the pleasure of speaking with Director of EWC, Ana María Torres — who explained the event with such great enthusiasm. Following 0ur conversation, I fully encouraged GEN Argentina's involvement and support. It is a competition that mobilizes entrepreneurs, forces them to improve their procedures and seek excellence in order to present themselves. It also generates a global space that allows for them to feel part of something superior.
EWC Global: How does EWC support the other work that your organization does?
Jorge Lawson: It gives us more visibility as well as a fabulous tool to reference and unite the entire national ecosystem.
EWC Global: What do you hope to achieve with EWC 2020?
Jorge Lawson: I hope to have a representative from Argentina again in the world finals.