GES 2019 Highlights More Female Entrepreneurs

Andy Rabens, Special Advisor in the Office of the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, U. S Department of State.

MORE FEMALE entrepreneurs are expected to mount the stage at this year’s Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in the Hague, Netherlands.

This forms part of a push to get more women and minority entrepreneurs in the position to gain access to capital and support to scale up their businesses.

“There is a strong effort to make sure that at least 50 per cent of the speakers were female and lifting up women to get their voices heard on stage,” said Andy Rabens, Special Advisor in the Office of the Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, U.S Department of State.

This, he said, was to make sure that women entrepreneurs around the globe have the opportunity to showcase what they were doing and be connected with the right investors and partners.

Mr. Rabens was speaking to journalists attending the GES 2019 Foreign Press Center Global Reporting Tour.

It is organised by the Foreign Press Centers of the U. S. Department of State, Bureau of Public Affairs.

Briefing journalists, Mr. Rabens said data showed that the percentage of venture capital going to women CEOs and business owners was below five percent.

“When you look at the fortune 500 companies there are less than 14 women who are CEOs so in both the US and globally, there are efforts to get more venture capital into the hands of women and minority owned businesses form difference part of the geographic settings as well,” he said.

GES 2019

Announced in 2009 by President Obama, the GES has expanded into a platform for entrepreneurs and investors as well as governments to interact, share best practices and make deals for investment and partnership.

The U.S. co-hosts the GES every year with another government.

The 2019 GES is being co-hosted with the government of Netherlands from June 2 to 5, 2019.

Mr. Rabens sharing some of the highlights of the upcoming summit, said entrepreneurs would have the platform to pitch their businesses, get skills training as well as mentoring sessions.

“The greater aim is for relationships to be formed and that would lead to greater economic empowerment for both the entrepreneurs and investors in all the respective countries involved,” he added.

About 2000 people from 140 countries are expected to attend the summit in the Hague

They include 1,200 entrepreneurs, 300 investors, government officials and partner organizations.

Agriculture, connectivity, energy, health and water are the sub themes for the Summit.

Access to capital, women’s empowerment and the industries in the future would also be featured.

Governments’ Role

Touching on why government must be interested in entrepreneurship Mr. Rabens said “a lot of time people say entrepreneurship is best when government is out of the picture and let the business people do business, but we believe that a government can be a strong supporter in the entrepreneurship space.”

He said governments could play an extra advocate to ensure entrepreneurs succeed whether changing some laws to make it easier for entrepreneurs to be able to start a business and to grow their business or to create opportunities on the ground through incubators or accelerators.

“Over the past eight years, I think the number is around a billion of new capital has been provided to entrepreneurs worldwide through the convenience place at the summit,” he said.

  • Courtesy Foreign Press Centers.

From Jamila Akweley Okertchiri, Washington DC, USA

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