WASHINGTON, DC – The Global Entrepreneurship Network has appointed Ewan Gaffney as acting managing director of GEN UK. In this role, Gaffney is responsible for expanding collaboration among the country’s entrepreneurship ecosystem leaders and connecting them to their counterparts in more than 170 countries.
“As the UK reimagines its role in the world and continues to build a 21st Century economy, we must do more to understand and embolden this rich UK startup ecosystem,” said Gaffney. “In the UK we need more sophisticated tools, programs and research to help us support ecosystem growth at all levels and better data to help us efficiently direct resources to areas that have the greatest impact on future economic growth.”
Gaffney said as the United Kingdom becomes more dependent on entrepreneurship at a macroeconomic level, the country’s need to develop an enabling environment for new businesses has become an urgent concern.
“The performance of our ecosystem has consequences for job creation, regional development, innovation and growth at every level of the economy,” he said. “But the sheer complexity of the UK’s entrepreneurship ecosystem and the exponential pace of change has outpaced our collective capacity to understand it, and harness it.”
This announcement comes as part of the 10-year anniversary of Global Entrepreneurship Week, which began in the United Kingdom and the United States in November 2008. Gaffney said the vision of GEN UK is a sophisticated user-led network weaving all the strands of the diverse country ecosystem into “an existing fabric of economic and collaborative opportunities.”
At the global level, GEN operates in more than 170 countries. It fuels healthier start and scale ecosystems by fostering deeper cross-border collaboration and initiatives that engage entrepreneurs, investors, policymakers, researchers and entrepreneurship support organizations.
In the United Kingdom, GEN UK aims to strengthen the ecosystem by focusing on:
- Providing an open source and representative network geared toward collaboration and impact at scale,
- Linking entrepreneurs and the institutions that support them by raising awareness of the opportunities and resources that are already exist within the country,
- Working to connect a unified country ecosystem to an international peer community that operates at the cutting-edge of ecosystem development, and
- Building entrepreneurial capacity locally, and opening the United Kingdom up to new global innovation.
Alongside Gaffney as acting managing director of GEN UK, Marc Ortmans and Elaine Gold, GEN UK co-founders, will be supporting the country affiliate in its endeavors to combine the disruptive instincts of a startup with the sophisticated resources of a global network.
About the Global Entrepreneurship Network
The Global Entrepreneurship Network operates a platform of programs in 170 countries aimed at making it easier for anyone, anywhere to start and scale a business. By fostering deeper cross border collaboration and initiatives between entrepreneurs, investors, researchers, policymakers and entrepreneurial support organizations, GEN works to fuel healthier start and scale ecosystems that create jobs, educate individuals, accelerate innovation and strengthen economic growth. For details on the programs that make up GEN, visit genglobal.org and follow @unleashingideas on Twitter.