GEN Belgium to strengthen international connections and programs; representatives of seven major employers’ organizations to serve on Board of Directors
WASHINGTON, DC – The Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) announced today the opening of its latest country affiliate, GEN Belgium, to promote entrepreneurial growth in Belgium and help entrepreneurs start and scale new businesses. With entrepreneurship on the rise in the country, GEN Belgium will provide an important international bridge between the country’s entrepreneurship ecosystem and GEN’s global network in 165 countries.
“Entrepreneurship is a global phenomenon that positively impacts communities, cities and countries around the world, not just startup hubs like Silicon Valley,” said Jonathan Ortmans, president of the Global Entrepreneurship Network and chairman of the Board of Directors for GEN Belgium. “Belgium has demonstrated a strong commitment to its entrepreneurs and we look forward to contributing to that effort and connecting the ecosystem to a massive movement that spans the world.”
GEN provides a platform of programs and initiatives that help coordinate a varied collection of players, programs and information to better support entrepreneurship. These efforts engage entrepreneurs, investors, policymakers, researchers and others dedicated to helping new ventures flourish.
GEN Belgium will provide national leadership in the effort by: convening and connecting ecosystem players; amplifying outreach and increasing awareness; evaluating and endorsing tried and tested programs; serving as a source of quantifiable data and qualitative information; and acting as a hub for sharing knowledge and experience.
GEN Belgium is led by an impressive Founding Board made up of representatives of GEN, n2euro and seven major employers' organizations -- Brussels Enterprises Commerce & Industry (BECI), Walloon Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIW), Union of the Middle Classes (UCM), Organisation for the Self-Employed and SMEs (UNIZO), Walloon Union of Companies (UWE), Federation of Enterprises in Belgium (VBO-FEB) and Flanders' Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VOKA).
GEN Belgium will build on a strong base of support from the local community which has come together each year since 2011 to celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week. Launched globally in 2008, GEW is a massive collection of events, activities and competitions designed to strengthen and support the next generation of entrepreneurs. Celebrated each November, it is now recognized in 165 countries with 10 million people participating in 35,000 events.
In Belgium, GEW is coordinated by Freddy Nurski of n2euro who will serve as GEN Belgium’s managing director. "By leveraging select initiatives, the GEN Belgium platform is able to connect efforts already underway locally to global knowledge and know-how," said Nurski. "This might include cutting-edge entrepreneurship research and policy development, founder competitions producing peer-to-peer learning networks of experienced practitioners, angel investors, entrepreneurship education or support programs."