The fifth edition of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit was held from 19th to 21st November 2014 in Marrakech, under the High Patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, May God Assist Him, under the theme "Harnessing the power of technology for innovation and entrepreneurship".
The official opening ceremony was attended by the Heads of state of Gabon and Guinea, the US Vice President, Mr. Joe Biden, ministers, officials, entrepreneurs, corporate CEOs , youth and women entrepreneurs, students and representatives of financial institutions and international networks.
The Summit’s opening session was marked by the Royal Message addressed to the participants, in which the Sovereign declared that Morocco is "proud" that this international meeting, initiated by President Barack Obama in 2009, is being held, for the first time, on African soil, confirming "the calling and ambition of the Kingdom which considers the promotion of its partnership with the continent as a well thought-out irreversible choice."
The US Vice President, Mr. Joe Biden, who headed the US delegation to the Summit, reiterated the determination of his country to further strengthen partnership between Morocco and the United States of America. He also insisted on the importance of innovation, education and the creation of an economic and political climate to encourage entrepreneurial act.
The work of this Summit culminated in the announcement of several initiatives, including the organization of the Innovation Prize for Africa in 2015 in Morocco, launch of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Start-up Fund with $ 50 million in partnership with the World Bank, the launch of the Moroccan entrepreneurship and Innovation Club, a feasibility study for the construction of a "business city "in Morocco in partnership with Babson College, the project of virtual marketplaces for Moroccan SMEs and the African entrepreneurship Award with $ 1 million each year.
New agreements were signed during the closing session between the General Confederation of Moroccan Enterprises (CGEM) and several small and medium enterprises as well as between the major Moroccan banks and start-ups.
This international event had a record of 6,800 participants from 95 countries, including 35% women and 40% foreigners and some 600 students. 194 speakers animated twelve plenary sessions, interactive sessions, in addition to B to B meetings.
Several hundred companies from different countries, especially in Africa, have also animated the «Innovation Village» and presented their innovative projects to the participants in this event.
405 journalists, representing nearly 300 Moroccan and international media outlets have ensured media coverage of the GES2014’s various activities.
The Summit proceedings were followed by more than 22 million Internet users throughout the world, including 7.5 million on Facebook and 14.5 million on Twitter.