Another outstanding initiative by the
South Africa Department of Science and Technology and infoDev

5th Global Forum on Innovation & Technology Entrepreneurship

May 28-30 May, 2013 in East London, South Africa



infoDev’s Global Forum on Innovation and Entrepreneurship is a biennial flagship event convening the global innovation and entrepreneurship community to exchange know-how, establish partnerships and develop innovative approaches. infoDev is a global partnership program in the World Bank Group. Its mission is to enable innovative entrepreneurship for sustainable, inclusive growth and employment in developing countries. The Global Forum was hosted by India in 2004 and 2006, Brazil in October 2009, and Finland in May 2011. The 5th Global Forum on Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship which is hosted by the South African government (Department of Science and Technology) will be held in East London, South Africa, from 28 – 30 May, 2013.

The Global Forum attracts around 500 - 600 business incubator managers, policy-makers, SME entrepreneurs, financiers and development agencies from all continents for a unique south-south and north-south networking and knowledge-sharing experience. The Global Forum contributes to the “know-how” and the “know-who” in the global innovation and entrepreneurship community. Participants come to the event to be exposed to new business models, ideas and methodologies, as well as to meet people with similar interests in other countries and other industries and to explore partnerships and capacity-building opportunities.

South Africa presents a stimulating meeting place for stakeholders in the global and certainly African innovation and entrepreneurship eco-system. It has harnessed innovation as a cornerstone of its own transition to a knowledge-based economy and a resilient human society; it has ambitious national and regional innovation policies and inspiring inclusive innovation initiatives for social and human development, bringing together dynamic partners of the private and public sector.

Objective of the forum

The theme of the Global Forum in South Africa is “Harnessing innovation for social and economic growth”.

It will focus on enabling innovation and enterprise development for economic growth, job creation and human capital. Within the latter context, there will also be ample attention for innovative economic opportunities for women and youth.

More concretely, the Global Forum aims to:

  • Provide a platform for knowledge-sharing, capacity-building, networking and technology-based economic and social development
  • Bring together North-South and South-South communities of practice on innovation and entrepreneurship across core sectors including Mobile applications, Agribusiness, Energy and Clean Climate technologies, and technology-influenced social and human development
  • Convene international / regional partners and networks and create opportunities for learning and business
  • Strengthen infoDev's role as an entrepreneur and knowledge brokerage platform and underscore the value of being a member of infoDev’s global network. Provide a platform for World Bank and IFC to engage client countries on issues relating to innovation and technology entrepreneurship
  • Strengthen South Africa’s transformation to a knowledge-based innovative economy
  • Showcase South African knowledge and innovation initiatives such as provincial innovation systems, technology localization and rural innovation
  • Showcase high-potential and inspiring entrepreneurs through a competition, and provide them opportunities for partnerships and business linkages

The Global Forum comprises of plenary and break-out sessions, along with deep-dive discussion and networking sessions by region and/or theme. In 2009 and 2011, infoDev added business incubation training to the Global Forum, which was extremely popular and continues to be in demand. In 2011, the Global Forum featured an SME Fair, where the participants were selected from among 750 applications via infoDev’s Top50 SME competition. The highly successful SME Fair was a ‘marketplace’ for entrepreneurs to meet potential and investors and partners, and the audience voted 20 finalists to win US$ 10,000 to fund expansion into international markets.

The overall set-up of the Global Forum should be innovative, incorporating good practices from other global events (e.g. “Davos style” panel sessions, TED talks, use of external moderators, small group work and facilitating remote participation), and should provide ample opportunity for networking, dialogue, training and sharing of “hands-on” experiences. The overall objective of the Global Forum is to be a flexible networking platform for a relevant community rather than achieving consensus on set principles.

infoDev's training:

InfoDev Training Overview
Business Incubation Training Overview

Contact Details

Event Information:

Registration Enquiries:

Flight and Hotel Bookings:
Heila Ives -


Visit our 4th Global Forum on Innovation & Technology Entrepreneurship
Visit the Website

The Venue

Marine Park Complex, 22 Esplanade, Beachfront, East London

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Another great initiative brought to you by:

Department of Science and Technology Infodev World Bank

And supported by:

Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland Eastern Cape Province NOKIA