Myanmar, China Take Top Honors at GEN Compass Awards Dinner + Ceremony

Jessica Wray Bradner | March 15, 2017
Photo Credit: GEN Myanmar

The Global Entrepreneurship Network awarded top honors to Myanmar and China, while recognizing organizations from more than 36 countries for their outstanding effort and commitment to starting and scaling new ventures and supporting entrepreneurship in their countries. GEN named the winners during the Global Entrepreneurship Congress at the GEN Compass Awards Ceremony at Theatre on the Track in South Africa.

GEN Myanmar, represented by Emmanuel Maillard, received the Compass Award for GEN Country of the Year. This award is in recognition of Myanmar’s dedication to establishing a wide-reaching national country affiliate entity that engages all elements of the country’s entrepreneurship ecosystem.

Covering a wide range of sectors – including technology, agriculture, food and beverage, fashion, and social enterprise – GEN Myanmar organizes international study tours, hackathons, conferences, and other collaborative platforms. The GEN Myanmar board is in close collaboration with the country’s government and the private sector, and also has the support of USAID.

There were five nominees for this year’s GEW Campaign of the Year award, given to the Global Entrepreneurship Week host with the best overall GEW 2016 campaign in November. China, represented by Eileen Wu, received recognition as the GEW Campaign of the Year for organizing a high-impact, successful campaign and incorporating the GEW brand to maximum effect, as well as for successfully fund-raising an impressive budget for their GEW China campaign and achieving high-level participation from both government, local and international corporations.


GEN South Africa was honored with a special award to recognize the GEC 2017 host country’s hard work and commitment to assembling roughly 4,000 entrepreneurship champions from around the world in order to better help new businesses start and scale while sharing Johannesburg and the country’s entrepreneurial spirit with the world. The GEN South Africa managing director, Kizito Okechukwu, accepted the award on behalf of the organization.

The GEN Compass Award for Research Champions is awarded to an individual who has provided GEN country affiliates with guidance based on evidence focused on entrepreneurial dynamics emerging from solid research. Zoltan Acs, president of the GEDI Institute was honored for his development of the groundbreaking and innovative Global Entrepreneurship Index.

GEN recognized the commitment of individuals to grow and encourage new firm formation through innovative ways to promote angel investing and best practices with the Compass Award for Investor Champions. The African Business Angel Network was recognized for their contributions the past year to GEN’s broader entrepreneurial ecosystem.

The Policy Champions award recognized a a GEN member or supporter who has offered fresh perspectives on entrepreneurship policy. Anders Hoffmann, the deputy director general of the Danish Business Authority, was honored for his evidence-based call for a new approach to SME policy involving a perspective on scale-ups.


In addition to the wins by Myanmar and China, South Africa received the Compass Award for Brand & Digital Champions. South Africa was recognized the successful GEC theme, “Digital Disruption” aiming to facilitate platforms of engagement between startups and corporations to create innovative new ideas, as well as provide a pathway to explore disruptive technologies in various industries in the African continent, and globally.

The GEN Rookie of the Year award was given to Peru, which recognizes a new GEW host, as well as Startup Nations, GERN or startup community member, with significant dedication to the GEN mission. Cape Verde received the Champion Catalyzer award for most GEW event per capita and Bermuda won for most GEW partners per capita, for another year in a row. Algeria and Poland took home the Champion Catalyzer awards for most GEW events and partners, respectively.

BrighTap, a smart water meter that helps keep track of how much water your using, as well as the safety of the water, received the award for Most Promising Startup. BrighTap, represented by its founder, Konstantin Berezin, had won the 2016 Startup Open competition, defeating more than 1,000 other startups from around the world.

GEN Country of the Year:


Finalists: Belgium, Switzerland, South Africa, Vietnam, and Moldova

GEW Campaign of the Year:


Finalists: Cape Verde, Colombia, Czech Republic, The Netherlands

Brand + Digital Champions
South Africa

Finalists: Belarus, Paraguay, Canada, and Sudan

GEN Rookie of the Year

Finalists: Angola, Denmark, Portugal, and Chad

Champion Catalyzers – Most GEW Events

Finalists: United States, Poland, Russia, and Germany

Champion Catalyzers – Most GEW Events Per Capita 
Cape Verde

Finalists: Cape Verde, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Algeria

Champion Catalyzers – Most GEW Partners

Finalists: Germany, United States, Romania, and Algeria

Champion Catalyzers – Most GEW Partners Per Capita

Finalists: Bermuda, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, Cape Verde, Poland

Most Promising Startup

Finalists: meetHere, OneTest Diagnostic, Freshy, OpenWater, Marini Naturals, Karz, Boltt Sports Technologies, Cookies and Cookies

Jessica Wray Bradner
Jessica is a former multimedia journalist with a background in print and online media. At the Global Entrepreneurship Network, she creates daily... About the Author