The eighth edition of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) being held here for three days starting Tuesday will be marked by its theme “Women First, Prosperity for All” and the joint hosting of the summit by Washington and New Delhi.
The eighth edition of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) being held here for three days starting Tuesday will be marked by its theme “Women First, Prosperity for All” and the joint hosting of the summit by Washington and New Delhi. During a preview of her India visit to attend the summit as the head of a high-profile US delegation, Ivanka Trump, the adviser and daughter of US President Donald Trump, said in Washington on Monday that the event would be “a testament to the strong friendship between our two people and the growing economic and security partnership between our two nations”. To be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, more than 1,200 young entrepreneurs, a majority of them women, from 127 countries would attend the summit. In addition, some 300 investors and ecosystem supporters are also attending the mega event. This edition of GES will primarily focus on four thematic sectors — energy and infrastructure; healthcare and life sciences; financial technology and digital economy; and media and entertainment sectors.
Union ministers Sushma Swaraj, Nirmala Sitharaman and Suresh Prabhu will be attending the summit, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant told reporters here on Monday at a joint press conference with US ambassador to India Kenneth Juster. After the inauguration, Trump and India’s defence minister Sitharaman will be participating in a panel discussion on opening up of opportunities for women entrepreneurs, Kant said. The discussion will be moderated by John Chambers, chairman emeritus, Cisco Systems. Trump’s delegation includes Mark Green, administrator, US Agency for International Development, Ray Washburne, CEO at Overseas Private Investment Corporation, Jovita Carranza, treasurer of the US, Neomi Rao, administrator office of information and regulatory affairs and Patricia Green, director of the Women’s Bureau, department of labour.
A number of leading female voices will speak at various plenary, breakout sessions, master classes and workshops, including Google’s vice-president of Next Billion Users Diana Louise Patricia Layfield, tennis champion Sania Mirza and CEO of Afghan Citadel Software Company Roya Mahboob. “This year’s summit theme demonstrates the commitment of the US and Indian governments to the principle that when women are economically empowered, their communities and countries thrive. Women entrepreneurs help drive innovation and job creation, as well as address the world’s greatest and most critical challenges,” Kant said. “We are looking to create an ecosystem for start-ups and nurture entrepreneurship and foster innovation.
The summit will have about 53 sessions, all aimed to help start-ups and not necessarily bring investments. It will focus to create growing long-term employment opportunities for women thus helping economic prosperity as well,” he added. Replying to a query, Juster lauded Modi for the recent World Bank’s ranking of India on the ease of doing business index. “The important point is that the economic reform process will obviously increase US investments (in India),” he said. However, he added that investment decisions are made by the private sector and are driven by market forces. Refusing to speak on the recent H-1B visa issue in the US, Juster said his country is doing a comprehensive review of the visa policy, which is yet to be announced. He said the visa policy is not specific to any country and is aimed at attracting talent and innovation to the US.
To a query on the funding of start-ups, Kant said, “The government has already created a Rs 10,000-crore fund of funds through the Small Industries Development Bank of India. There is no paucity of funds as there are a vast number of investors to fund start-ups. We need more start-ups with good business proposals.” Modi and Ivanka Trump along with 100 special guests would also attend a special dinner on Tuesday at the Falaknuma Palace, now a plush hotel, in the old city. The dinner will be served on a Nizam-era table around which 101 guests can sit at a time. (With agency inputs)