#GES2019: Entrepreneur-led Innovation & Inclusion

The Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2019 has come to a close, and thanks to the 2000 participants from more than 120 countries, it was an incredible success! Hosted in The Hague, Netherlands from June 3-5, world leaders, politicians, entrepreneurs, and investors, all gathered to discuss innovative technology, global leadership strategies, AI, diversity + inclusion, and much more …

It was an honour to be part of the event, not only to represent women entrepreneurs, but to also have had the opportunity to have meaningful conversations with global leaders, and other like-minded entrepreneurs. The opening ceremony commenced with a powerful message delivered by the Dutch Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, “Innovation has always been the foundation of successful entrepreneurship”. To follow, the Mayor of The Hague, Pauline Krikke, made her opening statements: “Our world is faced with major challenges in many different areas, but when I look around here I am sure that we can meet those challenges. Because we can count on the strength of entrepreneurs, because we can count on you, because it is entrepreneurs who drive the social progress. People with the passion for what they do and for the world.”

Women empowerment was a central theme of the GES program, and one of my favorite quotes from the entire event came from Queen Maxima, “entrepreneurship must be inclusive, especially for women.” She also spoke to the issue of access to capital, and the importance of investing in women, “on average women receive less in capital funding than men, and those startups founded by women generally deliver over two times return of investment than those founded by men”. There were over 300 investors represented at GES, showing the importance of investing in innovation, women entrepreneurs in emerging countries, and changing the way we look at raising capital.

There were so many honourable speakers over the three days, Sigrid Kaag, Dutch Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao, Secretary of State of the United States Michael R. Pompeo; among others. To close the summit and put emphasis on the main axes of innovation and the economic development of women, was Ivanka Trump, “investing in women is a smart business”.

If you haven’t had a chance to check out the footage – tune in to GES TV and view all of the impressions and highlights.