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Cape Town sets its sights on becoming global entrepreneurship hub

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Entrepreneurship, innovation and business opportunities are set for a major boost following the City of Cape Town’s announcement that a new, annual Cape Town Entrepreneurship Week (CTEW) will take place in November.

CTEW, which takes place from 15 to 21 November, will form part of the City’s long-term strategy to place Cape Town firmly on the national, African and global map as a centre for innovation and entrepreneurship, with an environment that stimulates, supports and nurtures entrepreneurs.

Highlights of the week include the launch of the second Cape Town Entrepreneurship Competition; special face-to-face coaching workshops linking 150 emerging entrepreneurs to experienced business achievers; a three-day conference to build support for the City’s entrepreneur strategy and numerous other workshops, entrepreneur lectures and exhibitions.

“Cape Town is strategically placed to take up the opportunity to become the leading entrepreneurial innovation hub in Africa. Cape Town’s growing attractiveness as a design, energy and technology business hub is encouraging, and we are working hard to bring large corporates, business incubators, funders and industry experts together,” said the City’s Executive Director for Economic, Social Development and Tourism, Mansoor Mohamed.

“The idea is to create an environment where start-ups can find mentors and funding, venture capitalists can engage with great ideas and employment opportunities can be created. If we do this successfully, we can live out the CTEW theme: create, connect, compete. Cape Town has the opportunity to create new businesses and opportunities for innovation, connect entrepreneurs with venture capital and markets, and compete as a business destination,” he said.

Various international speakers will be coming to Cape Town for CTEW, including Dr Dan Isenberg, founding Executive Director of the Babson Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Project and Professor of Management Practice. Dr Isenberg previously taught at Harvard Business School and Columbia Business School.

At Harvard Business School, he designed and taught the popular course, International Entrepreneurship, and recently Harvard Business Review (HBR) published his “Big Idea” article, How to Start an Entrepreneurial Revolution. He has published three other seminal HBR articles, including The Global Entrepreneur (Dec. 2008), How Senior Managers Think (Dec. 1984), and The Tactics of Strategic Opportunism (April 1987), and has published dozens of HBS cases on entrepreneurial ventures around the world.

Cape Town Entrepreneurship Week will coincide with Global Entrepreneurship Week which, since its inception in 2008, has involved more than 10 million people from 102 countries. The annual event includes the participation of entrepreneurial experts, policy-makers, education practitioners and politicians. Last year 88 countries hosted Global Entrepreneurship Week and generated over 32 000 activities.

For further information on Cape Town Entrepreneurship Week, visit join the CTEW Facebook group, follow CTEW on Twitter ctew_week or e-mail

Published by Martin Pollack.
© City of Cape Town, 2016