GEN Campus creates scalable startup villages where entrepreneurs can connect, collaborate and share knowledge and networks.
Healthy entrepreneurial ecosystems benefit from the concentration of startups within a given geographic area – making it easy for entrepreneurs to connect and access resources. GEN Campus develops physical locations in ecosystems facing barriers to entry, addressing a lack of a centralized location for ecosystem leaders and startups.
The GEN Campus initiative was launched in 2017 with the opening of 22 On Sloane, a 10,000 square meter campus in Johannesburg, South Africa. A second campus opened in Denizli, Turkey in 2022 with a third in development in Cairo, Egypt. In addition to housing some of GEN’s national operations, these campuses attract local and regional startups through proven entrepreneurial support programs.
GEN Campuses foster four key elements of ecosystem vibrancy:
- Density: The number of new and young firms – and their share of employment – in a geographic area.
- Fluidity: The rate at which people move within and in and out of the ecosystem. This continual remixing is key to idea generation, labor market reallocation and people's ability to find the right job match.
- Connectivity: How easily entrepreneurs are able to connect with each other and access resources.
- Diversity: Ensuring startups emerge in a variety of industries so the economy is not overly reliant on a particular sector.
Programming within GEN Campuses can facilitate successive waves of new companies being created, including through university spinouts and existing company spinoffs, and provide a space for informal networks of dealmakers to develop.
The Global Entrepreneurship Network operates programs, like GEN Campus, that make it easier for anyone, anywhere to start and scale a company. GEN divides its programs into four distinct categories: those that celebrate entrepreneurs and inspire others to follow in their footsteps; those intended to better understand the underlying conditions that best enable entrepreneurs to thrive; those that support entrepreneurs through proven policy and programmatic interventions; and those that connect entrepreneurs, ecosystem builders and community leaders to strengthen local ecosystems around the world.