“Society is our next big client”

The GES Summit showed the world that The Hague is the city of doing good and doing business. More than 2.000 participants, predominantly impact entrepreneurs but also investors and global leaders from 140 countries were brought together to develop innovative solutions for the world’s most pressing challenges.

The 9th Global Entrepreneurship Summit officially started on the 3rd of June with the Opening Reception in The Hague’s City Hall. With words of welcome from the Mayor of the Hague Pauline Krikke, the U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and the Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte. After a warm welcome and an introduction from The Mayor. Mr. Pompeo highlighted the importance of entrepreneurship, bravery of entrepreneurs facing daily risks, and he called for governments around the world to create the right environment for entrepreneurs to thrive. Finally, the Prime Minister stressed the importance of sustainability and innovation in facing current challenges and connections that make the world better and at the same time make a healthy profit. “Given the major challenges the world faces – climate change, food production, connectivity, energy, and health – it’s crystal clear that society is your next big client.”

Before the GES officially started ImpactCity organized a successful side-event with many partners. The event Financing Brilliant | Solutions took place in the impact startup location Apollo 14. About 200 impact entrepreneurs gained insights into the financial landscape for impact startups and became inspired by the latest and greatest in tech innovation. During this event, Deputy Mayor Saskia Bruines also officially announced the new partnership between ImpactCity and Rabobank.

On the 4th and 5th of June, the GES summit took place at The World Forum with a full program with inspiring speakers, power lunches, pitches and riveting sessions. Academia, investors, government, hackers, hipsters, hustlers, brains, business, bureaucracy were all in one room as Minister Sigrid Kaag of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, summarized the background of the participants of the GES. She concluded the GES with a message close to our very own ImpactCity mission:

“Society is our next big client. There is no gap between business and society. There are business cases to be made in solving the global challenges we face. Yes, we can make money while delivering the SDGs to the world. That is the powerful legacy GES 2019 is leaving us. One that cuts across all sectors: food, connectivity, energy, water, health.”