The seven major employers' organisations in Belgium - Brussels Enterprises Commerce & Industry (BECI), Walloon Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIW), Union of the Middle Classes (UCM), Organisation for the Self-Employed and SMEs (UNIZO), Walloon Union of Companies (UWE), Federation of Enterprises (VBO-FEB) and Flanders' Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VOKA), have an agreement in principle to co-establish a local platform of the Global Entrepreneurship Network that focuses on stimulating and supporting entrepreneurship in 160 countries.

GEN Belgium will develop and coordinate the various programs and activities of GEN Global in the country while providing an additional international bridge for the many initiatives that already exist in Belgium.

GEN has been involved in Belgium for five years, since 2011, through Global Entrepreneurship Week. Launched globally in 2008, the Week is a massive collection of events, activities and competitions designed to strengthen the next generation of entrepreneurs. Celebrated each November, it is now recognised in 165 countries with 10 million people participating in 35,000 events.

In Belgium, GEW is coordinated by Freddy Nurski who will assume the role of managing director of GEN Belgium.

"By leveraging select initiatives, the GEN Belgium platform is able to connect efforts already underway locally to global knowledge and know-how," said Nurski. "This might include cutting-edge entrepreneurship research and policy development, founder competitions producing peer-to-peer learning networks of experienced practitioners, angel investors, entrepreneurship education or support programs."

Both GEW and GEN reach a diverse group of stakeholders in the startup ecosystem -- entrepreneurs, investors, policymakers, researchers and other startup champions dedicated to helping founders start and scale new businesses.

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By Gabriela Fernández Scala