With a rapidly expanding startup ecosystem and innovative policies to support the growth of its entrepreneurs, Buenos Aires was announced today as the winner of the GEC Cities Challenge.
The city’s mayoral office will send a delegation to the upcoming Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Milan to present its approach to supporting entrepreneurs so that policymakers and startup communities around the world can learn from its experience.
"We envision our city as being the center of innovation and creativity, as well as a benchmark for Latin America and the world—and working closely with the local entrepreneurial ecosystem is critical in this path," said Mauricio Macri, mayor of Buenos Aires. "The recognition we are receiving from the Global Entrepreneurship Network is an honor, and above all it is an impetus to continue growing."
The competition was run by the Global Entrepreneurship Network and META Group, co-hosts of the 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Congress.
"As city officials around the world continue to expand their understanding of the economic importance of new and young firms, more and more are moving away from traditional economic development efforts" said Jonathan Ortmans, president of the Global Entrepreneurship Network. "For them, the approach is no longer attract and retain but rather start and scale."
Rather than exploring well-known startup hubs like Silicon Valley, London or Berlin, the GEC Cities Challenge targeted up-and-coming metropolitan areas that are rapidly boosting entrepreneurship, attracting talent, and leveraging public assets.
Buenos Aires was selected above other finalist cities: Genk (Belgium); Kansas City (U.S.); Madison, Wisconsin (U.S.); and Yerevan (Armenia). Overall, more than 50 cities around the world applied and were considered.
Nominated by the General Directorate of Entrepreneurs under the Buenos Aires Ministry of Economic Development, it was the focus on the entrepreneur and toward making evidence-based choices that set the Argentine city apart.
The city’s Innovation Plan looks to maximize human capital to empower the entrepreneurial ecosystem and innovate for social inclusion. Free two-month training courses through Academia Buenos Aires Emprende teach lean startup methodology and design thinking along with the soft-skills necessary for entrepreneurial success—providing tools for potential entrepreneurs at all levels of society.
To build the city’s startup community, the Directorate has mapped its ecosystem and events to better promote and utilize the physical infrastructure available throughout the city such as co-working spaces, makerspaces and incubators.
Meanwhile, the recently launched Buenos Aires Accelerator targets the ecosystem’s financial sector through a seed fund program to support local high-impact entrepreneurs.
The Global Entrepreneurship Congress takes place in Milan, Italy, from March 16-19. Thousands of delegates from more than 150 countries—including entrepreneurs, policymakers, investors and researchers—will explore best-in-class policies and programs to promote entrepreneurial growth.
Image Source: City of Buenos Aires