In the past decade, multilateral trade has been transformed by the emergence of the gig economy, with entrepreneurs, start-ups and venture capitalists congregating in local innovation hubs to develop transformative products and services. Building off its global network of businesses, chambers of commerce, academic institutions, and intergovernmental organisations, ICC has launched the ICC Centre for Entrepreneurship, to connect local entrepreneurs to global markets and provide expertise to early-stage start-ups.
The Centre will serve as a platform to scale globally the most successful local and regional entrepreneurial initiatives driven by chambers of commerce and innovative partners.
Launched in Istanbul with ICC Turkey and the Union of Turkish Chambers of Commerce and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB), the first hub of the ICC Centre for Entrepreneurship will pursue partnerships with businesses, chambers of commerce and technology partners to advance local economic development and deliver the United Nations (UN)Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Centre will create regional hubs in cities like Istanbul, to cultivate home-grown entrepreneurs and establish transnational partnerships between corporations and start-ups. With the first regional hub in Istanbul, ICC is planning on opening other hubs in cities such as Beirut, to fuel local economic development.
In Istanbul for the launch of the Centre, ICC Secretary General John W.H. Denton AO explained that the Centre aligns with ICC’s campaigns to Make Technology Work for All, Stop the Global Rise in Inequality and Lead for the Long Term. “We see entrepreneurship as helping to fill the void of opportunities that exists for the next generation and for those who are struggling to find a foothold in the market economy,” said Mr Denton.
Mr Denton identified Turkey’s location and business community as important factors behind the decision to open the first hub in Istanbul. “Not only is Turkey a critical G20 economy, but [it is essential] in the development of Central Asia, the Balkans and the Caucasus,” he said. “The goal of the Centre for Entrepreneurship in Istanbul is to reach out, develop those businesses communities and enable citizens to find a foothold in the global economy with our support.”
The Centre will leverage digital connectivity to pair entrepreneurs with experts from ICC’s global network to provide virtual mentoring and coaching. Already, the Centre has established partnerships with social media company, Facebook Station and Mind the Bridge, a San Francisco-based innovation advisory firm. The Centre will also draw upon the strength of chambers of commerce in over 100 countries and ICC’s Knowledge Solutions Department.
In the future, the Centre will host a series of ICC Talks for entrepreneurs, chambers of commerce, businesses, banks, and governments, to address structural challenges facing emerging and developing markets. By bringing together thought leaders, businesses and entrepreneurs, the Centre will establish a community of innovative professionals aimed at challenging convention and transforming the future of business.