We are getting ready to launch the newest edition of the International Council of Small Business (ICSB) Academy to be held this year in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The Academy is a week-long entrepreneurship education program consisting of an immersive cross-cultural and experiential boot camp followed by activities and workshops in conjunction with the ICSB World Conference. With education as one of its four founding pillars, the ICSB designs the Academy such that students interact with young entrepreneurs, researchers, practitioners, and policy makers from around the world. This year, recognizing the impact ICSB Academy students have on the world and its future, we have made global sustainability the theme of the 2017 Academy, and students will participate in the Humane Entrepreneurship programs and the ratification of the United Nations SME Day at the ICSB World Conference.
At the 2015 Inaugural ICSB Academy in Dubai, sixty students from nine different countries created six online non-profit business ventures under the mentorship of our global faculty and practitioners. Students, faculty and practitioners all benefited from the energy of the Academy’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. The New York/United Nations 2016 Academy was more than double in size, with 140 students from around the world developing business ventures and pitching their ideas to the World Congress participants.
The ICSB Academy is growing quickly and its impact is far reaching. In Egypt, in conjunction with the Egypt Entrepreneurship Summit (EES), ICSB launched its first ICSB Academy –Country Edition. The academy brought 100 students to the conference who, in addition to receiving mentorship from twelve esteemed ICSB global faculty, were awarded thousands of Egyptian pounds in seed money. Motivated by this success, ICSB is working towards the formation of a European Edition of the Academy in collaboration with Finland’s Slush.org, the largest startup event in Europe boasts 15,000 attendees.