Global Entrepreneurship Summit: GES 2019

The Netherlands and the United States are jointly organising the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES), to be held at the World Forum in The Hague on 4 and 5 June 2019. The summit will bring together some 2,000 entrepreneurs, investors and other participants from around the world.

Logo Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2019 United States / The Netherlands

What are the goals of GES 2019?

  • The Global Entrepreneurship Summit is held annually and aims to promote entrepreneurship worldwide. It offers a unique, international platform for companies to demonstrate their innovative solutions to major challenges facing the world today. The summit helps these innovators establish links with foreign investors.
  • GES 2019 presents an excellent opportunity for the Netherlands to bolster our ties with the United States and underscore our position as the Gateway to Europe. It also allows us to showcase our strengths with regard to entrepreneurship and innovation. This includes our triple helix partnerships between the public sector, the private sector and knowledge institutions – a unique and effective approach to international societal challenges, as well as a good revenue model.
  • GES 2019 will bring together entrepreneurs and investors from all corners of the globe, helping them take their ideas and innovations to the next level.  

Who is GES 2019 for?

  • GES 2019 is aimed at next generation entrepreneurs: companies and institutions from the US, the Netherlands and elsewhere that offer innovative solutions to broad social issues. 
  • Around 1,200 entrepreneurs and 350 investors from around the world will take part in GES 2019. The summit will also be attended by government officials and journalists, bringing the total number of expected visitors to around 2,000.
  • To minimise the obstacles to participation and ensure the event is truly inclusive, participants will not be charged a conference fee. Individuals wishing to attend the summit are asked to register their interest. The organisers will then select participants based on a number of criteria. 
  • From around mid-December 2018, entrepreneurs and investors will be able to register their interest at At around the same time, this website will also provide details on the requirements/criteria that participants must meet and on which the selection will be based.  

Who’s organising GES 2019?

  • The 9th edition of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit is being organised jointly by the US Department of State and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The US delegation will be headed by Secretary of State Michael Pompeo. As the Netherlands is co-host, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Sigrid Kaag will chair the summit. The US embassy in the Netherlands and the Dutch embassy in the US are also closely involved.
  • Several Dutch ministries have joined forces to prepare for the conference, including the Ministries of Economic Affairs & Climate Policy; Infrastructure & Water Management; Health, Welfare & Sport; and Agriculture, Nature & Food Quality.
  • The private sector also has a major role in creating the summit’s programme. Partners currently include: Philips, APG, Rabobank, AON, Eindhoven, Brainport Industries, the Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers (VNO-NCW) and SME Netherlands (MKB Nederland), NLinBusiness, FME, StartupDelta, Ideas from Europe, the American Chamber of Commerce in the Netherlands (AmCham), ONL, TheNextWeb, Singularity University the Netherlands, Epicenter, B Lab Europe, The Next Women, TEDxWomen, the Netherlands Academy of Technology and Innovation (AcTI), the Holland America Friendship Foundation (HAFF), Get in the Ring and Impact City The Hague.

What’s the theme of GES 2019?

  • At the GES, everything revolves around entrepreneurship. The 2019 summit themes are linked to sectors in which the Netherlands excels and enjoys a strong international reputation: food and agriculture, water, energy, health and connectivity. There are also two cross-cutting themes: the future of work and access to finance.
  • GES 2019 will be more than a two-day event. Before the summit, entrepreneurs will start work on challenges within their chosen theme. The results will form a large part of the summit. More information about the content of the challenges will be given in due course.

What’s the programme like?

  • GES 2019 promises to be a unique event –¬ a conference, festival and marketplace all rolled into one. Participants will be treated to a varied programme that will feature keynote lectures by prominent speakers, panel discussions and numerous matchmaking activities. Innovative methods and formats will be used to connect innovators, entrepreneurs and investors. The programme will be announced as soon as it is finalised.

What’s in it for Dutch companies?

  • During GES 2019 around 2,000 entrepreneurs, investors, corporates, scientists, thought leaders, government officials and journalists from around the world will convene in the Netherlands. This will offer a unique opportunity for Dutch entrepreneurs to link up with potential partners and investors from abroad.
  • The international publicity campaign for the event highlights the Netherlands’ entrepreneurial and innovative strengths. Around 200 Dutch entrepreneurs will be able to participate in the summit.
  • To maximise GES 2019’s reach, several side events will take place before, during and after the summit.

What will GES 2019 cost?

  • GES 2019 is a joint venture by the US and the Netherlands. The Netherlands will bear the costs of holding the event. A maximum of €15 million will be available, which will be financed from the foreign trade and development budget.
  • There will be no conference fee for participants.