GEC 2013 – Entrepreneurship as it should be

From March 18 to 21, Rio di Janeiro played host to the Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC) where entrepreneurs, investors, government representatives and industry specialists – including BiD Network’s own Senior Advisor Maria Pontes – met to discuss practices and methods to facilitate entrepreneurship.

The first two days of the conference hosted the main events with expert panels assembled to create dialogue and discuss entrepreneurship trends.

Day One

Day one focused on policy. What can governments do something to spur entrepreneurship?

Below are quotes from guest panelists that looked at how to support start-ups and smart government strategies to facilitate faster scaling of existing high growth firms.

Lesa Mitchell (Kauffman Foundation):
– ‘Crowd-funding will make a difference for how women will seek financing for their companies’
– ‘Start-up friendly legislation in the US is recent phenomena, only with Obama and the Jobs Act, Start-up 2.0 Act, Keep Brains, and visas for start up entrepreneurs.’

Conrad von Ingel (InnovaChile):
– ‘Shake up the local ecosystem and connect with the world

Patrick Lim (SPRING Singapore):
– ‘Messages should come from the successful entrepreneurs, they should act as role models.’

Esperanza Lasagabaster (World Bank):
– ‘Micro-enterprise is a short term strategy for job creation, it is the high growth entrepreneurship that has the power to do this sustainably.’

Alessandro Fusacchia (Italy’s Ministry for Economic Development):
– ‘We need ‘contamination labs at universities’, entrepreneurship is not made by business professors and students but by people across disciplines coming together.’

Daniel Isenberg (Babson Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Project):
– ‘Entrepreneurship is natural, the government should just just remove the barriers to it.’
– ‘Unless the Brazilian government recognizes the obstacles to entrepreneurship, the opportunity that is there will be missed. And there are only 3 years to do this. After the Olympics it is going to be a different story.’
– ‘Survival rate is not a good indicator, it depends on how easy it is to close a business and in the most vibrant entrepreneur places you will see a lot of failure. Value created is better.’

Humberto Ribeiro (Brazilian Ministry of Development, Industry, and Foreign Trade):
– ‘What you need to scale a business are three things: markets, markets, markets.’

Day Two

The debate of day two looked at:
– the role of women in entrepreneurship
– the role of government; should they intervene or just remove barriers.
– and the role of mentoring. Mentoring from experienced entrepreneurs acting, not just as role models for potential entrepreneurs, but as role models to create a culture of entrepreneurship in early schooling ages.

Below are a few original quotes from panelists involved in the discussions:

Jeff Hoffman (Priceline.com):
– ‘Let’s stop analyzing business plans, and start analyzing entrepreneurs

– ‘What do I do when I have a great idea? Get my keys and leave. I go and meet my customers to make sure my idea is not crazy

Paul Kedrosky (Bloomberg):
– ‘Trends in funding start-ups: leaping over to wireless in financing new companies; kickstarter+angellist=VC in 1984′

Hernán Kazah (Mercado Libre):
– ‘If you want to go global, start by solving a local friction point. Our growth came because we kept the focus instead of jumping on every attractive opportunity. We had a great team, and looked always to resolve the obstacles we faced to grow’

Alexandre Hohagen (Facebook Brazil):
– ‘Our growth was due to the innovative business model for the Brazilian market, we hired the right people to scale the company and we are now educating the market – be ready for the growth

Dave McClure (500 Start-ups) talking about angel investing:
– ‘small checks with operational experience matter as much

For pictures, video and additional coverage of the event please visit Endeavour Brasil.