AllWorld Network, the creator of the Saudi 100 and South Africa 100 lists of fast growth companies, kicked off the convening of its first summit to accelerating growth entrepreneurship in the Middle East and Africa. Co-hosted by the United Nations Office for Partnerships and the Business Council for International Understanding, the event brings business, government and media leaders together with twenty-five fast growth entrepreneurs, winners of the Saudi Fast Growth 100 and the US Inner City 100, and applicants to the South Africa Fast Growth 100 -- collectively, these 25 entrepreneurs have created 12,000 jobs.
AllWorld seeks to identify all of the emerging world's top growth entrepreneurs in the next three years and to accelerate their growth by giving them the visibility and networking opportunities that all high-potential companies require to grow to full scale.
AllWorld Chairman Professor Michael Porter of the Harvard Business School commented "The Saudi Fast Growth 100 and South Africa Fast Growth 100 companies, led by dynamic men and women, represent the leading edge of a new approach to competitiveness." Companies that make a 100 ranking have to be private businesses growing at least 40% a year, for five or more years.
The entrepreneurs are spending four days in the US to share ideas, meet with leaders to advance growth entrepreneurship as a global priority, sharpen their growth strategies with Porter and other world renowned professors at Harvard, and participate in an intensive 24-hour leadership session designed for them by the Pinnacle Training Institute. Joining the entrepreneurs are the Founding Partners of the Saudi 100, the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority, the National Commercial Bank (the largest bank in the Middle East), AlWatan newspaper, Siraj Capital and Sukoon International.
"We are at the twilight of one economic era and the dawn of another," said Anne Habiby, co-founder of AllWorld Network. "The old model of economic development has reached its limit and micro-enterprise does not have the scale to power countries forward. The next model of economic development is growth entrepreneurship, which can create a new wave of prosperity."
"As these companies grow, the upside is immeasurable," said Deirdre M. Coyle, Jr., co-founder of AllWorld Network. "They create a much needed tax base, they hire and advance employees at a rapid rate, they influence their governments to improve the business environment and transparency, and they create hope for the future. They are both economic growth drivers and agents of positive change in regions that can benefit the most from both."
"For a fast-growth CEO, selection to the AllWorld lists brings global visibility," said Peter Tichansky, President of the Business Council for International Understanding. "They deserve it. These entrepreneurs are building the next great companies. We want to support them."
"A robust private sector that delivers economic growth, employment and wealth creation is essential for reducing global poverty and making progress toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals," said Amir Dossal, Executive Director of the United Nations Office for Partnerships. "The United Nations Office for Partnerships is pleased to be part of this leadership initiative to engage some of world's most dynamic emerging entrepreneurs to discuss how to unlock the growth potential of the Middle East and Africa."
Joining AllWorld Network in this effort are global partners: the United Nations Office for Partnerships, The World Bank Institute, Endeavor SA, the Harvard University Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative, the Business Council for International Understanding, the Center for Strategic Competitiveness at IIT-Stuart School of Business, and the leadership training institute Pinnacle, Ltd.
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