infoDev’s Global Forum on Innovation and Entrepreneurship is a biennial flagship event convening the global innovation and entrepreneurship community to exchange know-how, establish partnerships and develop innovative approaches. infoDev is a global partnership program in the World Bank Group. Its mission is to enable innovative entrepreneurship for sustainable, inclusive growth and employment in developing countries. The Global Forum was hosted by India in 2004 and 2006, Brazil in October 2009, and Finland in May 2011. The 5th Global Forum on Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship which is hosted by the South African government (Department of Science and Technology) will be held in East London, South Africa, from 28 – 30 May, 2013.
The Global Forum attracts around 500 – 600 business incubator managers, policy-makers, SME entrepreneurs, financiers and development agencies from all continents for a unique south-south and north-south networking and knowledge-sharing experience. The Global Forum contributes to the “know-how” and the “know-who” in the global innovation and entrepreneurship community. Participants come to the event to be exposed to new business models, ideas and methodologies, as well as to meet people with similar interests in other countries and other industries and to explore partnerships and capacity-building opportunities.
South Africa presents a stimulating meeting place for stakeholders in the global and certainly African innovation and entrepreneurship eco-system. It has harnessed innovation as a cornerstone of its own transition to a knowledge-based economy and a resilient human society; it has ambitious national and regional innovation policies and inspiring inclusive innovation initiatives for social and human development, bringing together dynamic partners of the private and public sector.
The Global Forum website aims to keep readers up to date with all the local Southern African businesses that are empowering women to progress and entrepreneurship through innovative new technologies. Africa has gradually started catching up in the technology advancements enjoyed by larger first world countries. Countries like Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Malawi, Senegal, Tanzania and The Democratic Republic of Congo have joined in the drive to uplift and help with the technological advancement of entrepreneurs and small businesses in the region. The introduction of government initiatives, specialized training seminars for startups and international bursaries has helped in the growth spurts seen in many areas. The Global Forum focuses on researching and showcasing businesses in the region that are making technological advancements as well as giving back to the communities that the rely on to keep the wheels of their companies turning. The Global Forum is thrilled to announce that it is finding more and more of these innovative companies embracing the local environment and thriving in it.