GEN Announces 2017 Startup Nations Award Winners
Wray Bradner
28 Nov 2017

Policymakers and experts from Argentina, Estonia, recognized for their contributions to entrepreneurs

The Global Entrepreneurship Network honored four individuals at the Startup Nations Summit for their leadership in implementing innovative public policies and programs to help entrepreneurs start and scale new businesses in their countries and around the world.

The winners were: Jorge Lawson of Argentina for the Startup Nations Award for Local Policy LeadershipMariano Mayer of Argentina for the Startup Nations Award for National Policy Leadership; the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Team from the World Bank, for the Startup Nations Award for Groundbreaking Policy Thinking and Mikk Vainik of Estonia for the Global Entrepreneurship Network Award.

“As governments become more sophisticated in engaging with startup communities, the work being done by these leaders serve as examples on how to build and strengthen entrepreneurial ecosystems everywhere,” said Jonathan Ortmans, president of the Global Entrepreneurship Network. 

The awards were presented by a Starship Robot, which are built by Starship and their engineering headquarters in Estonia. 

Startup Nations Award for Local Policy Leadership
Jorge Lawson
Director, Argentinian National Bank

Mr. Lawson implemented several programs and policies during his time as Minister of the Province of Cordoba, all with a vision to build an ecosystem that can continue to develop, well-past government support. Among his policy achievements are the creation of an SME and Entrepreneurial Development Secretariat in the Province and the "Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Cordoba," an entity with 65 different organizations that continue to strengthen the ecosystem in the Province.

Startup Nations Award for National Policy Leadership
Mariano Mayer
Secretary of Entrepreneurship and SMEs 

Having successfully tested entrepreneurship policy levers as an intra-preneur in the Buenos Aires city government, upon assuming broader leasership as National Secretary for Entrepreneurs and SMEs, Mr. Mayer began a bold, multi-pronged strategy to revive Argentina's entrepreneurial spirit, including a new law for entrepreneurs. 


Startup Nations Award for Groundbreaking Policy Thinking 
Innovation and Entrepreneurship Team
World Bank

This team at the World Bank, led by Ganesh Rasagam, developed and executed ambitious research projects on areas previously only studied in advanced economies, such as tech ecosystems in cities of emerging countries and the art of promoting high-growth entrepreneurship across developing nations. In the process, the World Bank has collected new data on policy tools that developing nations can use to benefit from the impact of growth-oriented entrepreneurship.


Global Entrepreneurship Network Award
Mikk Vainik
Policy expert, Ministry of Communications and Public Affairs, Estonia

Mikk Vainik was recognized for his work and commitment to connecting a wide range of groups in Estonia to bring the Startup Nations Summit -- and the Startup Nations program -- to the country. He has made efforts to to help the start and scale ecosystem in Estonia, brought information about the country's work in e-governance.

Jessica Wray Bradner

Marketing Manager | Local Entrepreneur

Jessica is a former multimedia journalist with a background in print and online media. At the Global Entrepreneurship Network, she created daily… More