How are emerging market entrepreneurs leveraging technology and changing development paradigms? Why are the rewards of funding innovative new ventures in emerging economies worth the risks, and what makes these investments succeed? How can investors, policy makers, and the private sector in general help find and groom transformative high-growth enterprises?
Entrepreneurs are a driver of economic growth, which is why these questions are important—and central to the Global Forum on Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship, being held in East London, South Africa, from May 28th-30th. Organized by infoDev and the Department of Science and Technology of the Government of South Africa, the Forum will facilitate learning, business matchmaking, strategy, and knowledge sharing, with a special focus on the needs of African entrepreneurs and innovators.
Janamitra Devan, Vice President for Financial and Private Sector Development, will open the Forum next Tuesday. Other speakers during the three day event include senior financiers like Andile Ngcaba, Founder of Convergence Partners, and Dr. Iqbal Surve, Chairman of Sekunjalo Group, as well as up-and-coming entrepreneurs like Marlon Parker, Founder of rLabs, and Toni Maraviglia, Co-founder of Eneza.
The Forum will feature learning sessions on mobile, green growth, early-stage financing, and business incubation best practices, as well as training sessions for mobile entrepreneurs, developers, and business incubators. I’m also looking forward to the African Women Entrepreneurs Roundtable, where successful and soon-to-be-successful women entrepreneurs will share experiences and resources on how to grow the next generation of high growth, women-led enterprises. It promises to be a full week of discussions on how to harness innovative entrepreneurship for social and economic growth. My hope is that would-be entrepreneurs come away from this event with new ideas, resources and networks to grow their businesses.
If you are unable to attend in person, you can still attend ‘virtually’. All sessions will be streamed live online. To learn more about the Program, and to register for live streaming, visit the Forum website . For the latest updates and to join the conversation, you can also follow the Forum on Facebook  and Twitter .