Richard Branson to Open Global Entrepreneurship Week at the Launch of New GEN Startup Campus in Johannesburg


JOHANNESBURG – Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Group founder, will officially open the 10th-anniversary celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) by participating in the launch of a new startup campus in Johannesburg, South Africa. The campus, 22 on Sloane, is the first one opened by the Global Entrepreneurship Network – offering direct and virtual support services to entrepreneurs throughout Africa as well as access to an international network of mentors, investors and entrepreneurial support organizations.

“Entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of any economy. They are disruptors and innovators who shape our world for the better. This campus launch is going to help to create a new generation of entrepreneurs who will improve peoples’ lives across the continent.” said Branson.

Joining Branson at the launch event are: Jonathan Ortmans, president of the Global Entrepreneurship Network; David Makhura, Premier of Gauteng Province; Lindiwe Zulu, South African Minister of Small Business Development; and Tokozile Xasa, South African Minister of Tourism along with several African Ministers, captains of industry from leading South African and African business networks and promising startups.

The launch event on November 10 signals the opening of Global Entrepreneurship Week – an effort to help anyone, anywhere start and scale a new business. For one week each November, roughly 10 million participants take part in 35,000 events, activities and competitions in more than 165 countries around the world.

“In the first 10 years of celebrating Global Entrepreneurship Week, we learned a great deal about the potential of entrepreneurs and the ability of our societies to work together and create great value,” said Ortmans. “Through broad support from the government of South Africa and the rest of the African continent as well as private sector leaders, 22 on Sloane will shape a community of promising entrepreneurs and connect them to the resources they need to succeed.”

Short-listed applicants for a 12-month residency at the startup campus, will pitch at competitions during Global Entrepreneurship Week to secure a final slot at 22 on Sloane.

Branson has been an active supporter of Global Entrepreneurship Week since the initiative began in 2008 – filming videos, speaking at events, gracing the cover of publications and even hosting a GEW startup competition winner on his privately owned Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands.

For additional information about Global Entrepreneurship Week, visit To learn more about the 22 on Sloane startup campus, visit