CONNECT | January 25, 2017

The Road to GEC 2017: Kenya

Photo Credit: WECREATE Kenya


As thousands of delegates prepare to travel to Johannesburg for the Global Entrepreneurship Congress, a delegation from the host city is traveling to Nairobi, Kenya, in order to raise awareness and engage the country’s ecosystem leaders.

The delegation, led by GEN South Africa and SEA Africa, has partnered with GEN Kenya and WECREATE Kenya to meet with a variety of key stakeholders and entrepreneurs in Nairobi. WECREATE serves as an entrepreneurial community center for women interested in starting or expanding an existing business. The Center provides mentoring, business connections, specialized training, connections to the community, media attention, access to markets and capital, along with the technical tools and resources necessary for taking any business to the next level.

“As entrepreneurship continues to evolve, many opportunities are available for entrepreneurs within the African context,” said Alesimo Mwanga, Research & Development Executive at SEA Africa. “The theme for GEC 2017 is Digital Disruption and I am hopeful that this trip will encourage African entrepreneurs to journey down to Johannesburg for GEC 2017 and seize the available opportunities to them within the digital realm and market their respective value propositions to the international community.”

The visit to the East African country will also highlight the following agenda: addressing Africa’s poor integration and challenges to intra-trade and barriers to growth; connecting African entrepreneurs and encourage new partnerships and collaborations; promoting youth entrepreneurship in regional and continental communities; encouraging and expanding intra-African trade; engaging, networking and exploring partnerships with local and regional ecosystem players.

The trip also taps into Microsoft’s Kenya operations. Microsoft is a corporate partner supporting GEC 2017.

“At Microsoft, our mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. GEC 2017 is the perfect platform to encourage conversation, share learnings and create the mindset necessary to help entrepreneurs and start-ups succeed amid global challenges, new trends and untapped potential,” said Kunle Awosika, Microsoft Kenya Country Manager and a Digital Technology and Innovation panelist. “The fact that these conversations are happening in Africa is testament to the inherent entrepreneurial capability of our people and reinforces our commitment as Microsoft to support SMEs through the Microsoft 4Afrika initiative.”

GEC 2017 will be held in Johannesburg at the Sandton Convention Centre from March 13-16. It is the first time that the global gathering of entrepreneurs, investors, researchers, policymakers and startup champions is being held on the African continent.

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Mark is the executive vice president of the Global Entrepreneurship Network, a platform of programs and initiatives created by the communities… About the author