Johannesburg will host another international congress in March 2017 when leading global entrepreneurs and innovators attend the first Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC) to be held on the African continent.

The objectives of the Congress are to map out entrepreneurial ecosystems, share new developments in startup financing, connect entrepreneurs to the best resources and networks, and identify emerging entrepreneurial hotspots and global expansion of the producer movement.

The GEC, initiated by the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) and the Kauffman Foundation in 2009, is a gathering of startup champions from all over the world. The Congress hosts thought-leaders, entrepreneurs, investors, researchers and policymakers who have become part of a global movement that advances entrepreneurship to build economies and improve human welfare.

“Hosting the GEC in 2017 will give South Africa the opportunity to showcase its entrepreneurial capacity to the world and show yet again why it is the leading host city of world congresses and business leaders. Johannesburg has world-class infrastructure to support hosting a world congress and its guests,” says Councillor Ruby Mathang, MMC Economic Development for the City of Johannesburg.

As a vibrant economic, social and entrepreneurship hub, Johannesburg has a major role in the African entrepreneurship network that has significant benefits for the rest of Africa. This Congress will confirm the city as part of an entrepreneurship network and skills revolution to train young Africans in science, technology, research and innovation, as well as a key driver for African youth and women in innovation and development, Mathang explained.

Johannesburg is co-hosting the Congress with SEA Africa as the local member and host of the GEN. SEA Africa, a renowned specialist research and development company, was responsible for initiating, managing, leading and ultimately securing the bid.

The GEC global team is currently visiting South Africa from 27 to 29 July 2015. Speaking in Johannesburg, Jonathan Ortmans, President of GEN, says the focus of the team’s visit is on the local committee’s strategic and operational plan as well as site visits to hotels and the Sandton Convention Centre. Their visit will include engaging with various stakeholders in the entrepreneurship space as well as visits to various entrepreneurship hubs and local attractions.