GEN Algeria is the nation’s newly formed organisation as part of the Global Entrepreneurship Network. For this pilot initiative they invited students from 100 universities across the country to take part. Demand was overwhelming with 4,800 students gathering at the Houari Boumediene University of Sciences and Technology campus in Algiers. The 5 day program included talks from experts, workshops, seminars and competitions. International speakers included Kiran Maverick, Olesea Solpan Fortuna, Jas Miine, Soumeya Rachedi, Fatiha Rachedi, Marc Ortmans, Marian Spier, Tanja Minja Kalezic, Mehdi Drissi, Adil Gherib and Kevin J. Langley.
Creating and building an entrepreneurial culture in this young community involves shifting mindsets towards innovation, and motivating the entrepreneurial spirit. Ideaspace Global’s founder Marc Ortmans said, “Their enthusiasm and engagement was extraordinary – like I have never seen before even in the most developed economies. There was a palpable hunger to learn and absorb everything. The students were almost equally made up of men and women and demonstrated a collaborative and meritocratic approach in everything they did from discussion to mixed teams in competitions”.
ESSA revealed that there is a bright future for Algeria. The country’s millennials have exceptional talent, enthusiasm, and determination rarely seen elsewhere. A new reality is emerging, a tipping point where a new generation of entrepreneurs are ready to change the world.