GEC+ Cape Town

Entrepreneurial Mindset in Action

The growth of GEN’s annual Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC) over the past 10 years has created demand for smaller, follow-on events around the world. GEC+ events, which were developed in 2016 to fill that demand, gather experts from around the world for deep-dives into specific regions or issues.

The latest GEC+ was held in Cape Town on March 16-18, 2017, and offered an introduction to Cape Town’s vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem. Following on the heels of GEC 2017 in Johannesburg, the event was sponsored by the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation (AGO) and the Cape Town GEC+ Host Committee, which is made up of the city’s leading entrepreneurship organizations.

In addition to an overview of the local entrepreneurial ecosystem, GEC+ Cape Town hosted a member meeting of the Global Entrepreneurship Research Network as well as a deep-dive into innovative new methods for understanding entrepreneurial mindset around the world.





Understanding Cape Town’s Entrepreneurship Ecosystem

GEC+ Cape Town featured visits to various parts of Cape Town’s burgeoning local startup ecosystem.


Global Entrepreneurship Research Network (GERN)

GEC+ Cape Town hosted a GERN Executive Session where those who fund, conduct, and apply entrepreneurship research reviewed GERN's collaborative projects, discussed pressing programmatic research questions, and shared new knowledge and expertise on entrepreneurial mindset in action.

While the Executive Session was for members only, GERN took the opportunity to reach out to all participants in a design-thinking session to generate input on what research would be most useful to entrepreneurs and practitioners during the coming three years in order to inform its members’ research agendas.


The Entrepreneurial Mindset

Recently, the Global Entrepreneurial Mindset Project was launched under GERN’s and AGO’s  leadership. The goal is to design and construct a robust, evidence-based methodology for measuring entrepreneurial mindset in a region or a country. The project is supported by MindCette, which is led by Professor Kelly Shaver. In Cape Town, Shaver hosted a public feedback session and described the design principles and methodology that underlie the study.

The pioneering study – currently being tested through a pilot study in South Africa – provides a practical example of how GERN fosters collaboration across national borders with an overarching commitment to spurring new firm formation.

In addition to discussing what conducting it in other countries would mean for startup ecosystems and the research communities that study them, GEC+ Cape Town opened opportunities for public discourse to elevate the focus of entrepreneurial mindset education as a fundamental building block for developing and improving individual and societal entrepreneurship competencies.

Entrepreneurial Mindset in Action encompasses a variety of topics, such as Entrepreneurial Mindset for Entrepreneurs, Educators, Policymakers, and Researchers, that was explored during GEC+ sessions. These not only delved into basic understandings of entrepreneurial mindset, but also presented cases and practical examples to illustrate how the application of an entrepreneurial mindset can create sustainable value in societies.

GEC+ Cape Town would not be possible without the generous support of the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation, Philippi Village, Silicon Cape, Workshop17, the SA Angel Investor Network and the Lagoon Beach Hotel.



Official Hotel:
Lagoon Beach Hotel, Cape Town

Official Venues:
Venue 1: Workshop 17 | [Google Map]

Venue 2: Philippi Village | [Google Map]



GERN questions: Cristina Fernandez (


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