News Details | 16-Nov-2010

Singapore to host Asia’s first World Entrepreneurship Forum

ACE and NTU become joint founding member of global entrepreneurship think-tank

The Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) have jointly become the third founding member of the World Entrepreneurship Forum (WEF), a prestigious global entrepreneurship think-tank. Come 2011, Singapore will host the annual conference of the WEF. This makes Singapore the first founding member from Asia to join the WEF, and the first country in Asia to host the WEF. This was announced by Mr Gan Kim Yong, Minister for Manpower at the BlueSky Conference  today.

With this membership, Singapore will be plugged into the global entrepreneurship community and help shape the global entrepreneurship agenda. This will further strengthen Singapore’s position as an entrepreneurial city. The WEF 2011 annual event is also expected to bring together entrepreneurship thought leaders from more than 50 countries to Singapore in November next year.

The WEF was set up in 2008 by the EMLYON Business School and KPMG, under the patronage of French President Nicolas Sarkozy. It seeks to unite international leaders from the economic, social, political, and academic fields to facilitate exchanges and promote entrepreneurship globally. Membership in the WEF is by invitation only and prospective members are selected based on criteria such as entrepreneurial experience or commitment in the field of entrepreneurship and global vision. The Memorandum of Understanding between EMLYON Business School, KPMG, ACE and NTU to seal Singapore’s Founding Membership was signed on 5 November during a Gala ceremony attended by 800 guests at the WEF held in Lyon, France.

ACE has participated in the WEF since 2009, with the two-fold objective of sharing Singapore’s model of fostering entrepreneurship, and building relationships with global leaders and experts to enhance ACE’s work. Stepping up to become a founding member of the WEF is in line with ACE’s direction of deepening its work in building a more entrepreneurial Singapore. Through knowledge sharing at the WEF, ACE will deepen its understanding of entrepreneurship-related issues, so that it can better engage the government and other partners in formulating entrepreneurship policies and initiatives. Also, being plugged into an international network provides ACE with opportunities to leverage on the resources and expertise of its partners to enhance its work.

“Being a founding member of the WEF will enhance ACE’s objective of building an entrepreneurial and vibrant knowledge-based nation.  Through this, ACE is now taking a world leadership position in the promotion of entrepreneurship and in support of entrepreneurs. We will deepen our relationship with global leaders and experts, and learn from them. In addition, WEF 2011 will put Singapore on the global entrepreneurship map and raise awareness of Singapore’s nurturing business environment and vibrant entrepreneurship landscape, where entrepreneurs and innovators can connect to markets, capital and talent. This would serve as a magnet to attract top entrepreneurial talent to Singapore,” said Mr Inderjit Singh, Deputy Chairman, ACE and a member of the Board of Trustees, NTU.

Already, Singapore’s dynamic entrepreneurship scene and comprehensive government support has won admiration and respect from the international community at the WEF. Last year, Minister of State for Trade & Industry and Manpower, and Minister in-charge of Entrepreneurship, Mr Lee Yi Shyan, made a keynote presentation on Singapore’s multi-faceted framework to promote entrepreneurship.

“Singapore is a pioneering leader in entrepreneurship policy. We appreciate that the country has shared with us many of its innovative and effective initiatives, such as the formation of ACE, the establishment of a structured entrepreneurship learning curriculum and the development of a vibrant venture capitalist and incubator network,” said Professor Patrick Molle, President of EMLYON Business School, France and Founder & Co-President of WEF.

NTU’s Associate Provost (Innovation) Jeffrey Nadison, said, “Entrepreneurs need a strong and supportive ecosystem to nurture and accelerate their growth.  Building up the next generation of creative, innovative and bold entrepreneurs is a great endeavour that will require the collaborative work of educators, corporations, government and local communities. NTU is firmly committed to this goal and we are delighted to be associated with this dynamic global movement, alongside ACE.”

Earlier in June this year, as a lead-up to WEF 2010, NTU hosted Southeast Asia’s first Junior World Entrepreneurship Forum. The forum enabled students and other young participants from Singapore to interact and engage in dialogue with successful entrepreneurs on how to take their ideas to the next level, while leveraging entrepreneurship as a way to create wealth.  NTU was also appointed one of the six World Entrepreneurship Forum Centres, representing Asia. 

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Media contacts:
Ms Marion Abraham
ACE Secretariat and
Senior Manager, Corporate Communications
SPRING Singapore
DID: 6279 3617

Mr Feisal Abdul Rahman
Senior Assistant Director (Publicity, Media & Account Relations),
Corporate Communications Office
Nanyang Technological University
DID: 6790 6687


About Action Community for Entrepreneurship

The Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE) is a movement that involves both the private and public sectors to create a more entrepreneurial Singapore. ACE works with partners to enhance our pro-enterprise environment; fosters an entrepreneurial culture and mindset; and facilitates networking and learning among entrepreneurs. For more information, visit

About Nanyang Technological University



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