Liverpool wins Global Entrepreneurship Congress bid

The city has been named as the 2012 host of the Global Entrepreneurship Congress, run by the US-based Kauffman Foundation.

The bid was written by Liverpool Vision, the city's economic development company, whose executive underwent a competitive interview, beating strong competition from the United Arab Emirates, Chile and Denmark.

Vision said Liverpool is the first UK and European city to hold an event which attracts hundreds of the world's leading entrepreneurs, thought leaders and economists from more than 100 countries.

Previous host cities are Kansas City in 2008, Dubai in 2009 and Shanghai, the host city for this year's Congress.

Max Steinberg, chief executive of Liverpool Vision, who led the bid team, said: "The significance of this for Liverpool cannot be underestimated and the effects of the Global Entrepreneurship Congress selection committee choosing our city will ripple for many years to come.

"We want to create the conditions in which innovators and entrepreneurs can thrive and that has never been more important than now. Liverpool is improving economically but we need to do so more quickly by encouraging enterprise and having the private and public sectors working more closely together.

"The Congress in Liverpool next year will help us achieve these goals while learning new lessons on how we can best stimulate and grow our economy.

"It also importantly acknowledges that entrepreneurship is the instinctive response in Liverpool to harder times. Liverpool Vision on behalf of Liverpool City Council is charged with steering the city through this challenging period and having the interest from the leaders behind the Kauffman Foundation's Global Entrepreneurship Week movement can only help."

The Kauffman Foundation is a non-profit foundation based in Kansas City, Missouri, working to understand further the phenomenon of entrepreneurship, to advance entrepreneurship education and training efforts, to promote entrepreneurship-friendly policies, and to better facilitate the commercialisation of new technologies by entrepreneurs and others, which have great promise for improving economic welfare.

Carl Schramm, president and chief executive of the Kauffman Foundation, said: "The power of the message put forward by Liverpool Vision about Liverpool's interest-and the many expansions of entrepreneurship that were pointed out in the application that characterized modern Liverpool as a city truly committed to entrepreneurship-were very decisive.

"The work done at this Congress in preparation for Global Entrepreneurship Week could not be more important. To start the economy in any country-and restart the economy in periods of recession-entrepreneurs will play the critical role.

"I send my warmest congratulations to Liverpool Vision and we look forward coming to the city in 2012."

Global Entrepreneurship Week is a movement of innovative individuals and organizations, connecting each November through more than 30,000 events and activities to shape the next generation of entrepreneurs.

The Congress will take place at the Arena and Convention Centre in Liverpool in March 2012 with a number of fringe events taking part across throughout the week.

During this time, Vision said delegates will:

  • Hear from world leaders, economists and other experts regarding programmes, policies and research aimed at advancing entrepreneurship
  • Brainstorm about building on successes, overcoming individual challenges, and strengthening collaborative efforts for the future
  • Gain valuable insight from successful and experienced entrepreneurs on the key elements of an environment that encourages entrepreneurial growth and is conducive to innovation
  • Receive guidance on various critical capacity-building skills, from building awareness to deepening and widening national campaigns by catalyzing and leveraging partnerships
  • Celebrate and showcase the successes of the Global Entrepreneurship Week campaigns and each of the national campaigns

Cllr Joe Anderson, leader of Liverpool City Council, said: "We will benefit hugely from having such a concentration of business expertise in the city at one time. It is also an opportunity to create lasting relationships with the Kauffman Foundation and other important participants."

Sir Terry Leahy, a Liverpool Vision board member and one of the key supporters of the bid, added: "There is a sense of pride and confidence that has re-emerged with our success as European Capital of Culture and as a participant at the World Expo and here is another opportunity to make our mark.

"It is an opportunity to learn, to exchange ideas and to involve all sections of the Liverpool community, especially our young people.

"If Liverpool is to grow and prosper we need to help and encourage the next generation of innovators and business leaders to believe that their ideas and enthusiasm can make a lasting difference and I believe that the Congress is coming at the right time for Liverpool."

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