GEC 2018
Minh Tien
14 Jun 2018

A Vietnamese delegation led by  Dr. Pham Thi Thu Hang - Chairwoman of  VCCI Science and Technology Counciltaking part in the Global Entrepreneurship Congress 2018 (GEC 2018), which opened in Istanbul, Turkey on April 16. This is a first time Vietnam had a big delegation of businesses and business support organisations to participate in a startup biggest event.


Delegates from 171 different countries gathered at the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Istanbul for the 10th anniversary of the event, and attended in-depth sessions, workshops and relevant discussions on the latest developments in entrepreneurship from around the world.

In its 10th year, more than 2,400 people from around the world attended the Congress, co-hosted by the Global Entrepreneurship Network, the Kauffman Foundation, Endeavor Turkey, Habitat, Turkish Exporters Assembly (TIM), and the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB).

GEC 2018 took a look at the intersection of mindset, culture and barriers that exist within all entrepreneurship ecosystems. From exponential thinking – exploring how entrepreneurship moves from incremental to truly disruptive innovation – to innovation culture and inclusive entrepreneurship, the Global Entrepreneurship Congress featured sessions on leading-edge topics within the space.

During the four-day long Congress, delegates had the opportunity to make connections, learn about new research, and take home the latest information to renew their programs, facilitate policy discussions and mobilize their entrepreneurial community. The two main days of the GEC – Tuesday and Wednesday – featured more than 148 plenary and parallel sessions. The plenary sessions spotlighted a global collection of entrepreneurs, investors and ecosystem supporters amplified by an impressive collection of 128 parallel sessions, covering a wide range of topics – including tracks dedicated to:

  • Empowering Emerging Ecosystems
  • Global Challenges
  • Entrepreneurial Learning
  • Scaling Up
  • Mobilizing Capital
  • Women’s Entrepreneurship
  • Industry Disruption
  • Corporate Engagement
  • Fintech Innovations
  • Digital Economy
  • Lifestyle Innovations
  • Social Entrepreneurship

Vietnam delegation was participated in two sessions as panelists.  Dr. Pham Thi Thu Hang participates in the discussion on the GEN Asia and  the meeting of the Executive Committee of GEN Asia, in which members analyze the difficulties in shaping future of Asian startup ecosystem. Ms. Nguyen Thi Phi Van participated in the session competitive city strategies. In this session, representatives from Turkey, Brazil, Vietnam presented their start-up programs, the challenges and constraints of these programs as well as solutions to solve them. Members of the delegation had private meetings and working sessions with some of the partners participating in conference such as the Turkish Exporters Association, the The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey, Habitat Association, The Fintech hub, the Nepal Entrepreneur Hub…

To build on the experience, the delegation turned the trip to GEC 2018 into a Study Tour of Turkey startups, meeting with businesses throughout Istanbul to learn about the skills, infrastructure, and networks that have made them successful. Delegates enjoyed behind-the-scenes tours and 1-on-1 meetings with founders and company executives and worked side-by-side with local entrepreneurs in co-working spaces and at community events. Prior to the Study Tour, delegates mapped the startup ecosystems in Turkey and identified entrepreneurs, startups, co-working spaces, incubators, accelerators, mentors, angel investors, creative companies, professional service firms, regulators, policy makers and media outlets they would like to meet.