President Obama Speaks on the Transformative Power of Entrepreneurship at the 6th Annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit; South African Entrepreneur Wi

Honoring the life’s work of an audience of entrepreneurs from over 120 countries attending the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in Nairobi, Kenya July25-26, President Barack Obama stated, “Entrepreneurship creates new jobs and new businesses … It helps citizens stand up for their rights and push back against corruption.  Entrepreneurship offers a positive alternative to the ideologies of violence and division.”  Noting that entrepreneurs build bridges in their communities, Obama added, “You don’t have to look a certain way, or be of a certain faith, or have a certain last name in order to have a good idea.”

Among the attendees of #GES2015Kenya was South African Rudi Cooke of Water Bros. who won a U.S. Department of State Global Innovation through Science and Technology (GIST-Tech) award and cash prize of $30,000.  Water Bros. brings clean water to rural communities through bulk refill and free delivery.

Other South African entrepreneurs in attendance included Josh Cox of Trade-Mark, Nthuthuko Shzei of Livestock Wealth, and Naadiya Moosajee of SAWomEng.  Following the Summit, Ms. Moosajee said, “The GES was an important event not only for entrepreneurs but for Africa.  I think President Obama was absolutely spot on when he said, ‘Africa is on the move.’  His comments on corruption and the need to invest in youth and women will hopefully catalyze change at a grassroots-level to see transformation and prosperity in Africa.”

Launched by President Obama in 2009, the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) brings together entrepreneurs and investors from across Africa and around the world annually to showcase innovative projects, exchange new ideas, and help spur economic opportunity.  GES 2015 was the first summit held in sub-Saharan Africa, highlighting the entrepreneurial dynamism of the continent.  The summit brought together approximately 1,000 outstanding entrepreneurs and investors from across the world for dynamic, outcome-oriented sessions; mentoring; and opportunities to showcase their work.

For profiles and full-res photos of the South African entrepreneurs: