7 reasons why the GES is important for entrepreneurs


global entreprenuership summit Nairobi

The Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) is set to be held in Nairobi on the 25th and 26th of July. This will be the first time the summit will be held in Sub-Saharan Africa. The summit emanated from a 2009 speech by US President, Barrack Obama. In the speech delivered in Cairo, Obama “pledged to host a Summit on Entrepreneurship to broaden and deepen ties between business leaders, foundations, and entrepreneurs in the United States and Muslim communities around the world.”

The following year, the first summit was held in Washington DC on the 26th and 27th April. Other countries that have hosted the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) include Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Malaysia and Morocco.

The summit in Nairobi is set to host all kinds of business entrepreneurs. The US President will also be among those in the summit, it being the first time he is coming to Kenya as the President. The summit will feature 1,500 delegates from across the globe, of which about 300 will be Kenyans and about 700 will be from Africa. Three billionaires who take part in America’s television series, ‘Shark Tank’ will also be in attendance. These are Daymond John, founder and President of FUBU fashion line; Barbara Corcoran, founder of Barbara Corcoran Venture Partners; as well as Mark Cuban who is an investor, film producer, and owner of the basketball team Dallas Mavericks.

1. How to raise capital

From the rich pool of investors, there is so much that the local investor and entrepreneur can learn from the summit. First and foremost will be how to raise capital. This is one of the main important issues affecting entrepreneurs and as such, has always been one of the key issues in the previous GES as well as the one in Kenya. There are so many entrepreneurs who have these great ideas that only need financing to take off. The summit will see various investors discuss new programs which can increase the ability of entrepreneurs to access the capital they need.

2. How to be competitive in the sector

The summit will also focus on how to grow as an entrepreneur while at the same time be competitive in the sector or country one is in. This will be tackled from both the macro-economic (branch of economics dealing with the performance, structure, behaviour, and decision making of an economy as a whole rather than individual markets) and micro-economic (the part of economics dealing with single point of view.

3. How women entrepreneurs can create innovative businesses and create social impact

The Nairobi Summit has placed emphasis on women entrepreneurs. There will be a panel to discuss the rising power and potential of women entrepreneurs to create innovative business and social impact. The panel will also discuss ways of expanding the big idea to a successful business as well as turning that successful business into a business that can compete with its peers regionally and globally. Women entrepreneurs will benefit the most from this session while their male counterparts will also gain a thing or two.

4. Learn from the successes, failures and mistakes of successful entrepreneurs

The biggest lessons will come from the interaction of the successful entrepreneurs from across the globe. Some of these entrepreneurs come from well advanced markets than our own and it will be interesting to learn from their experiences, some of their failures and mistakes.

5. Attract foreign investment into the country

The summit itself being held in the country, coupled with the visit of the US President is a statement that Kenya is a safe country for foreign investors. This comes in the wake of recent terror attacks and the exit of foreign investors from our stock exchange. It has been forecast that thanks to the summit (and other conferences lined up later this year); foreign investment in the country is set to increase by 100%. Most of the foreign investors who had left will rethink their actions and will be back. This will particularly be important for any business that needs to expand and needs to raise capital. The foreign investors will obviously be looking to partner with local investors with running businesses and who know the market rather than setting up businesses from scratch.

6. Gain knowledge on protecting intellectual capital

Many people have come up with great ideas, only to see their ideas stolen by large institutions. There are so many inventions that have been stolen from Kenya. Examples include the popular kiondo, the Maasai kanga just to mention. The local entrepreneur is set to gain from knowledge on how to protect intellectual capital. This will include important information such as where to turn to for information on patents and trademarks as well as when and where to file the patents and trademarks.

7. Create links between local and foreign investors

The summit will act as a link between local and foreign investors. Partnerships will definitely be forged. A foreign entrepreneur who seeks to get into a new market will easily get a distributor and vice versa. Moreover, someone in the export or import business in the country will easily get to identify strategic partners to work with overseas.

The Global Entrepreneurship Summit will go a long way in helping the local entrepreneur. Much more still needs to be done in terms of Governance and to ensure what is discussed is put into place. That as it may, the lessons that entrepreneurs and the country as a whole will learn, and its implications will go a long way in helping the country achieve its 2030 goals.

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