Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) Maria Contreras-Sweet Award 2017 for Global Impact

Application Deadline: January 27, 2017.

The Maria Contreras-Sweet Award for Global Impact recognizes a government official or policy expert that has helped create a strong ecosystem to support diverse entrepreneurs in his/her country. The award highlights leadership that gives all entrepreneurs the power to innovate and advance social and environmental good globally.  Particular emphasis will be placed on officials/experts who have disrupted established systems in order to address the entrepreneurship needs of underserved/underrepresented communities.  Overall, the award honors an official/expert that embodies a global example of how government programs can empower entrepreneurs to solve societal challenges and further a more inclusive humanity.

Award Criteria

Nominations for the Maria Contreras-Sweet Award for Global Impact must be for a government official or policy expert who launched a small business program/initiative that further strengthened an inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem.  Submissions will be evaluated on the following:

  • A clear commitment to developing open, transparent, and meaningful policies so that entrepreneurs can compete on a level playing field and connect and collaborate with one another.
  • An assessment of the impact of the program/initiative with regard to furthering small business ownership, access to capital and availability of counseling and support for entrepreneurs, especially in underserved/underrepresented communities.
  • A demonstrated ability to overcome hardships and barriers such as lack of funding or support, cultural shifts and other setbacks.
  • The program’s ability to be replicated and the overall global impact the program could have on strengthening communities if replicated across the world.
  • The degree to which the officials/experts are advocates and role models for the plight of their programs and serve as the voice of especially underserved/underrepresented communities.

Application Procedure

  • Award will be given out at the GEN Gala + Compass Awards Ceremony during the Global Entrepreneurship Congress on Tuesday, March 17, 2017, in Johannesburg, South Africa.
  • You can find the form at

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) Maria Contreras-Sweet Award 2017


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