Technology & Innovation, Drivers of Entrepreneurship
The 5th edition of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES 2014), which was held in Marrakech (Morocco) from 19 to 21 November, brought together over 3000 entrepreneurs, together with heads of state, high level government officials, global entrepreneurs, small medium enterprises (SMEs), corporate leaders, and young entrepreneurs.
The summit, convened under the theme: “Harnessing the power of technology for innovation and entrepreneurship”, was attended by the presidents of Gabon and Guinea, US Vice President Joe Biden, women entrepreneurs, students, representatives of financial institutions and international networks.
During the Marrakech GES, several landmark initiatives were unveiled. These include the “Innovation Prize for Africa” to held in Morocco in 2015, the $ 50 million “Entrepreneurship & Innovation Start-up Fund”, the “Moroccan entrepreneurship & Innovation Club”, a feasibility study for the building of an “Enterprise city” in Morocco, the virtual marketplaces for Moroccan SMEs and the “African entrepreneurship Award” worth $ 1 million.
Several hundred companies from different countries, especially in Africa, availed the opportunity to showcase their innovative projects and share new ideas on myriad topics including ICT, water management, and alternative energy.
The Summit proceedings were followed by more than 22 million Internet users throughout the world, including 7.5 million on Facebook and 14.5 million on Twitter.
Participants agreed that entrepreneurship creates opportunity, unlocks economic growth, creates jobs and empowers populations. The Marrakech GES highlighted the impact of technology and innovation on modern entrepreneurship.
Several speakers stressed the importance of technology which presents entrepreneurs with enormous opportunity. It connects them to global markets. It gives them the power to reach beyond local communities and to tap into resources and expertise in other cities, countries, and continents.
The 1st GES was held in 2010 in Washington in a bid to foster dialogue and ties between business leaders, decision-makers, universities and entrepreneurs in the United States and Muslim communities around the world.
In subsequent years, the summit has become a global event and grew in importance. It was hosted respectively by Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and Malaysia before gathering in Morocco.