Liverpool to host Global Entrepreneurship Congress

LIVERPOOL has been named as the 2012 host city of the Global Entrepreneurship Congress – an event run by the US-based Kauffman Foundation.

The bid, written by Liverpool Vision, the city’s economic development company, whose executive underwent a competitive interview, led to the city beating competitors from the United Arab Emirates, Chile and Denmark.

Liverpool now becomes the first European city to hold an event which attracts hundreds of the world’s leading entrepreneurs. Previous host cities have been Kansas City in 2008, Dubai in 2009 and Shanghai, which hosts this year’s event.

Max Steinberg, chief executive of Liverpool Vision, said: “The significance of this for Liverpool cannot be underestimated and the effects of the Global Entrepreneurship Congress selection committee choosing our city will ripple for many years to come.

“We want to create the conditions in which innovators and entrepreneurs can thrive and that has never been more important than now. Liverpool is improving economically but we need to do so more quickly by encouraging enterprise and having the private and public sectors working more closely together.

The Kauffman Foundation is a non-profit foundation based in Kansas City, Missouri, working to understand further the phenomenon of entrepreneurship, to advance entrepreneurship education and training efforts, to promote entrepreneurship-friendly policies, and to facilitate the commercialisation of new technologies that could improve economic welfare.

Carl Schramm, president and CEO of the Kauffman Foundation, said: “The power of the message put forward by Liverpool Vision about Liverpool’s interest — and the many expansions of entrepreneurship that were pointed out in the application that characterized modern Liverpool as a city truly committed to entrepreneurship — were very decisive.”

The congress will take place at the Arena and Convention Centre Liverpool in March 2012.

Councillor Joe Anderson, leader of Liverpool City Council, said: “We will benefit hugely from having such a concentration of business expertise in the City at one time. It is also an opportunity to create lasting relationships with the Kauffman Foundation and other important participants.”

Sir Terry Leahy, a Liverpool Vision board member and one of the key supporters of the bid, added: “In recent years I have seen Liverpool begin to restore its reputation as an international outward-looking destination.

“There is a sense of pride and confidence that has re-emerged with our success as European Capital of Culture and as a participant at the World Expo and here is another opportunity to make our mark.”