Billed as the largest celebration of entrepreneurship in the world, the Global Entrepreneurship Week kicks off in Johannesburg on Sunday. Presented by the Global Entrepreneurship Network, the organisation’s founder and president, Jonathan Ortmans, will launch festivities marking its 15-year anniversary.
Global Entrepreneurship Week is a celebration of entrepreneurship, with over 40 000 activities in hundreds of countries engaging millions of people every year.
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This year’s global launch will take place at the 22 On Sloane Startup Campus in Johannesburg. 22 On Sloane, home to Global Entrepreneurship Week’s South Africa programming, plays a key role in the movement’s activities across Africa.
Throughout the coming week, participants will celebrate milestones achieved by all role-players in the ecosystem. The 22 on Sloane executive head, Kizito Okechukwu, says he is honoured to have the campus as a launch platform.
“It’s been five years since we launched 22 On Sloane and the impact we’ve made has been tremendous,” he says.
“It’s all thanks to our partners who have been with us on this journey. Some of those partners include Rand Mutual Assurance, African Bank, USAID, Business Leadership South Africa, United Nations, Telkom, Swissport, Microsoft, the department of small business development and the department of social development.”
Over the past five years, 22 On Sloane has supported more than 1 000 start-ups through its incubation and accelerator programmes, as well as capacity building and ecosystem collaborations. Over this period, participating start-ups have generated a cumulative revenue of over R1 billion with over 700 jobs created.
22 On Sloane will host a full week of activities during Global Entrepreneurship Week including the Inaugural Presidential SMME Awards and Summit powered by the department of small business development; a tech summit powered by Telkom; the launch of Tshwane University of Technology’s (TUT) Centre of Entrepreneurship powered by TUT; the annual GEW Hackathon powered by African Bank, RMA and Telkom, and 22 On Sloane’s Programme Pitch and Demo days.
Many other ecosystem stakeholders will also host various activities throughout the week. Overall, over 200 activities are expected to take place in South Africa during Global Entrepreneurship Week.
Ortmans says, “Our commitment to Africa, driven out of 22 on Sloane, remains as strong as when we launched GEN Africa in 2017 – making it a fitting place to open Global Entrepreneurship Week on its 15th anniversary. I am proud to stand alongside inspirational African entrepreneurs and leaders this week in supporting all those on the continent who are unleashing their ideas.”
Ortmans last visited South Africa in 2017 for the launch of 22 on Sloane and the Global Entrepreneurship Congress, which convened over 5 000 start-ups, investors, policymakers and ecosystem-builders in Johannesburg.
After the Global Entrepreneurship Week opening ceremonies in Johannesburg, Ortmans will visit Cape Town, where he will meet various ecosystem stakeholders and share an important announcement. Click here for more information.