AUC School of Business Academic Partner of 64th International Council for Small Business (ICSB) World Congress 2019


Between  June 18-21, AUC School of Business joined the ICSB World Congress 2019 held in Cairo as the official academic partner; providing insights on the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Egypt and the region.


The international conference, convening over 800 participants including 200 entrepreneurs and 55 organizations. Held every June around the world and bringing together global educators, researchers, policymakers, leaders, experts and practitioners, the congress supports sharing of knowledge and expertise.


At the opening ceremony, Geralyn Franklin, president, ICSB commented on the choice of Egypt as a host to the conference: “What better place is there to celebrate entrepreneurship than Egypt; the land of the builders of the pyramids, the ones who were entrepreneurial before the term was even coined”.


This year's event was themed as “The Future of Entrepreneurship” and it provided the attendees with the opportunity to gain insights within all entrepreneurship-related topics. On the theme, Sherif Kamel, dean, AUC School of Business remarked: “This theme relates to investing in the most precious resource we have on this planet: human capital. I consider human capital the oil to the 21st century.”


During the conference, AUC faculty, alumni and staff along with a world-wide gathering of entrepreneurs and thought leaders discussed a wide range of topics including the future of skills, SMEs in a global and digital economy, the future of work, building entrepreneurship ecosystems in emerging markets, entrepreneurship and decent job creation, empowering women entrepreneurs to lead the global economy, entrepreneurial cities, and more.  


In addition, ICSB and its partners explored how the paradigm shift towards a more inclusive economic growth and sustainability is impacting support for MSMEs. Through inspiration from Egyptian small business leaders as well as experienced leaders of academic, social and political organizations, a common reflection about the role of the entrepreneurial system in the pursuit of sustainability and social promotion evolved.


On the entrepreneurial state of Egypt in particular, Ayman Ismail, director of AUC Venture Lab and Abdul Latif Jameel Endowed Chair of Entrepreneurship analyzed: “The last ten years have changed the ecosystem. SME’s have always been around, but we have seen a tremendous rise in entrepreneurship. In Egypt, there is a huge boost in government backing, civil society support and education in this area. 5-6 years ago, if you asked the government about entrepreneurship they would not know what the word means. But now, the vocabulary of entrepreneurship is getting into the speeches of policymakers and authorities”.


Founded in 1955, the International Council for Small Business (ICSB) was the first international membership organization to promote the growth and development of small businesses worldwide. ICSB is devoted to the advancement of management development practices for potential entrepreneurs and existing small business owners/managers through education, research, and the free exchange of ideas.


The ICSB World Congress conference was certainly of surpassed value, particularly since entrepreneurship is of major weight to the School. In essence, as Dean Kamel stated during the conference: “Entrepreneurship is at the heart of AUC School of Business. Our deep-rooted commitment to developing relevance and leadership in this transformative field has guided our education, outreach and research agenda for over a decade. There is hardly a week where the School hasn’t held a business event on or off-campus, that supports or advocates the entrepreneurship culture”.