The Global Entrepreneurship Network recently announced that Istanbul will host the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in March 2018. It will be the tenth consecutive year that the event brings together thousands of entrepreneurs, investors, researchers, policymakers and other startup support champions from more than 160 countries.
“The globalization of entrepreneurship is a powerful force that is positively impacting communities, cities and countries around the world,” said Jonathan Ortmans, president of the Global Entrepreneurship Network. “Istanbul will provide an important backdrop for startup champions everywhere to come together in building one global entrepreneurial ecosystem.”
The bid was secured by a coalition of organizations that help founders start and scale new businesses in Turkey: Endeavor Turkey, The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB), Habitat, and Turkish Exporters Assembly (TIM).
Ali Sabanci, chairman of TOBB Young Entrepreneurs Council and founder of Pegasus Airlines, outlined the coalition’s hopes in bringing the GEC to Turkey.
“Our main vision is to make Istanbul a hub for entrepreneurship,” said Sabanci. “Entrepreneurs are the greatest strength in Turkey’s development but they cannot do it alone – we must all join forces to help them. There is a saying, ‘If you want to go fast go alone, if you want to go far, go together."
The Global Entrepreneurship Congress has previously been held in the Kansas City (2009), Dubai (2010), Shanghai (2011), Liverpool (2012), Rio de Janeiro (2013), Moscow (2014), Milan (2015) and Medellin (2016).
In March 2017, Johannesburg, South Africa, will be the ninth city – and the first on the African continent – to host the event. Members of the Istanbul organizing committee will be present in Johannesburg to participate fully and to accept the transition.