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, policymakers, and other participants from around the world.

What are the goals of GES 2019?

  • GES is held annually to promote entrepreneurship worldwide. The Summit helps innovators establish links with foreign investors who can assist in scaling up internationally. At GES 2019, policymakers form governments will also attend. This way, GES offers a unique, international platform for companies to demonstrate their innovative solutions to major challenges facing the world today; in order to take their ideas and innovations to the next level, they not only need investments, but often adapted regulations as well.
  • 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.

Who is GES 2019 for?

  • GES 2019 will invite 1,200 ‘next-generation’ entrepreneurs: companies from the US, the Netherlands and elsewhere that offer innovative solutions to broad social issues.
  • Entrepreneurs who want to be part of GES 2019 must apply before March 1 at A jury will decide who will get an invite. Selected entrepreneurs will not be charged a conference fee.
  • Some 350 investors from around the world will take part in GES 2019, as well as policymakers, thought leaders, inspirers, and journalists, bringing the total number of expected participants to around 2,000.

Who’s organising GES 2019?

  • The 9th edition of GES 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 closely involved.
  • Several Dutch ministries have joined forces to prepare for the Summit, 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 program.
  • Partners currently include: the Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers (VNO-NCW) and SME Netherlands (MKB Nederland), Philips, APG, StartupDelta, Rabobank, AON, Brainport Industries, NLinBusiness, FME, NWP, Ideas from Europe, the American Chamber of Commerce in the Netherlands (AmCham), ONL (Ondernemend Nederland), TNW, Singularity University the Netherlands, Epicenter, B Lab Europe, TheNextWomen, TEDxWomen, AcTI (The Netherlands Academy of Technology & Innovation), HAFF (Holland America Friendship Foundation), the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU), SDG Charter, Get-in-the-Ring, Impact City The Hague, Connekt en Instituut Duurzame Handel.

What’s the theme of GES 2019?

  • Central to GES 2019 is ‘The Future Now’ – the question what is needed in order to sustainably keep the world provided of Agriculture/Food, Connectivity, Energy, Health, and Water. These are sectors in which the Netherlands excels and enjoys a strong international reputation. Cross-cutting aspects are the future of work, access to finance, and women’s economic empowerment.
  • 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 program 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 program 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 program will be announced as soon as it is finalised.
  • 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, to be financed from the foreign trade and development budget.
  • There will be no conference fee for participants.