10 Facts to Know about Gwangju

1. The Hub City of Artificial Intelligence of Korea with 88.5 PF supercomputer

Artificial intelligence (AI) is supposed to be a key driving force that creates a technological edge in the future. Just as all countries value AI’s potential, so does Korea. In 2020, the Korean government announced Gwangju to be developed as its AI hub city. To drive innovation with AI, Gwangju provides the best business environment with basic research, infrastructure, human resource training, and investment funds. Accordingly, related companies are actively entering into investment and starting a business. For instance, in 2021 alone more than 100 companies were invested in Gwangju. Gwangju city government has four strategies to promote as an AI hub city.


First, providing AI infrastructure including a data center with 88.5 PF of computing power and 107 PB of storage space. This supercomputer boasts the world’s 10th highest performance and by far the best performance in Korea. The AI ​​data center, which will start operation in July 2023, provides ▷ AI solution service (AI application service), ▷ platform service (data collection, processing, analysis, development, and operation platform service), and ▷ infrastructure service (services such as high-performance server, storage, etc.).

Second, promoting commercialization of strategic industries through AI convergence by installing and operating demonstration equipment in regional strategic industries. Currently, support is being provided for 25 types of mobility fields such as connected cars, 26 types of health care fields, and 26 types of energy fields.


Third, supporting 400 AI experts every year as well as researching basic technology in cooperation with five local universities, including the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST, www.gist.ac.kr), a first-class national science and technology research and education institution.


Fourth, invigorating the ecosystem of AI-related businesses by providing funds to R&D projects and startups. A total of KRW 740 billion (US$ 517.84 million) of investment funds will be created by 2030, and a total of KRW 71.1 billion (direct investment KRW 18.3 billion and linked investment KRW 52.8 billion) has already been invested in 12 companies.


☞ Related events at the ICSB 2023 World Congress

– AI (K-digital) Challenge Day

– Start-up Hackathon Day

– HE_HumaneprEnuers

– WE_WomenenprEnuers


☞ Notable companies in this sector in Gwangju

– Dai Shin Information & Communications Co. Ltd. (www.dsic.co.kr): AI, Big Data, Cloud, Etc

– Join Tree Co. Ltd. (www.jointree.co.kr): SI/SM, EduTech, Etc

– Indi J Co. Ltd, (https://indj.net): AI, Healthcare, Etc

– Tmax AI R&D Center (www.tmax.co.kr): AI, Digital Twin, Etc

– Saltlux Gwangju AL Center (www.saltlux.com): AI-based Fall Prevention System, Etc

– Incored Technologies Cp. Ltd. (https://encoredtech.com): Developing Power Semiconductor, Etc

– BonC Innovators Co. Ltd. (www.bonc.co.kr): AI, Big Data, Etc

– NAMU Intelligence Co. Ltd. (www.namuintelligence.com): Power ICT, Etc

– Inviz Co. Ltd. (https://inviz.co.kr): Healthcare AI Solution, Etc

– NetOn Co. Ltd. (https://neton.co.kr): AI Face Recognition Technology, Etc


2. UNESCO designated Gwangju as Creative City of Media Arts

Gwangju has long earned a reputation as a city of culture and art. Recently, Gwangju’s cultural sector is evolving into a digital content production base by converging with AI, AR/VR, 5G, metaverse as well as e-Sports with IT technology, playing an important role in leading the cultural Korean wave in the world. In December 2014, UNESCO designated Gwangju as a city of creative media art. Naturally, you can enjoy digital media art works all over the city.


Multiple international events in the field of arts and cultural contents are held in Gwangju. Renowned international events include the Gwangju Biennale (www.kwangjubiennale.org), the Gwangju Design Biennale (https://gdb.or.kr), and the Gwangju ACE Fair (www.acefair.or.kr), an annual cultural content exhibition, etc. The Web Animation Festival (WAF), which has been held since 2004, is a festival event that includes award and conferences in the field of animation.


There are more than 1,000 companies in 10 fields – one-person creation, YouTuber, webtoon, animation/characters, movies/videos, music, performances, games, interactive augmented reality contents, mobile apps, ICT/SW/AI – in Gwangju.

There are various organizations and facilities to boost cultural contents industry. Gwangju Information Culture Industry Promotion Agency (GICON) supports funds, legal advice, distribution, marketing, and production facilities rental over from preliminary start-up to early start-up, take-off stage, IPO and entry to global market. The Asian Cultural Center (ACC), which supports international cultural exchange, is also a must-visit facility.



The facilities and equipment that support the cultural contents industry are as follows.

▷ Gwangju CGI Center (Computer Generated Imagery Center)

▷ Gwangju Content Cube

▷ Gwangju Music Industry Promotion Center

▷ Gwangju Video Complex Cultural Center

▷ Gwangju Contents Hub (Jeonil Building 245)

▷ Gwangju Contents Incubation Center

▷ Gwangju e-Sports Stadium

▷ Gwangju Smart Mobile App Development Support Center

▷ Gwangju Smart Media Center

▷ Gwangju Contents Korea Lab

▷ Gwangju Global Game Center


☞ Related events at the ICSB 2023 World Congress

– Animation Day

– Short Film Day

– e-Sports Day

– HE_HumaneprEnuers

– WE_WomenenprEnuers


☞ Notable companies in this sector in Gwangju

– Maro Studio (www.marostudio.net): Production of TV series and theater animation, Etc

– Studio W.Baba (www.studiowbaba.com): Production of TV series and theater animation, Etc

– Studio Button (www.studiobutton.kr): Production of TV series and theater animation, Etc

– Eyecream Animation Studio (http://www.eyescream.tv): Production of TV series animation, Meta Human Contents, Etc

– Campfire Aniworks (www.campfireani.com): Production of TV series animation, Etc

– 매그논 스튜디오 (명정희)

– Witches (www.witches.kr): Contents production of AR/VR/Game, Etc

– GenieSoft (https://geniesoft.io): Contents production of AR/VR/Game/Blockchain, Etc

– Studio Zilpung (www.zilpungstudio.com): Production of webtoon, Etc

– Gonggam Media (https://gonggam2019.co.kr): Production of webtoon, Etc

– 동혜 스튜디오 (김민주)

– 이지팜 (안영주)


3. Mobility industrial city with two automakers

The automobile sector is a major industry that accounts for 43.1% of the total sales of manufacturers and 23.3% of the number of employees of Gwangju city. Gwangju is the second largest automobile production city in Korea, producing 720,000 cars annually. Kia Motors’ Gwangju plant plans to produce 620,000 units from 2023 through facility expansion, and Gwangju Global Motors (GGM), which was created as a local win-win job creation in 2019, has an annual production capacity of 100,000 units. Also, there are 568 auto parts companies that produce OEM parts, A/S parts, and eco-friendly auto parts.


Gwangju’s automobile industry is pursuing a paradigm shift from the existing value chain structure centered on internal combustion engines such as car body, powertrain, and electric field to the future mobility industry such as control, sensor, actuator, and vehicle battery.

In the eco-friendly auto parts cluster built around the Jingok Industrial Complex and the Bit Green Industrial Complex, various supporting organizations such as Korea Automobile Research Institute (KATECH) and Gwangju Green Car Promotion Agency (GIGA) are involved in all-round support from cutting-edge technology R&D, necessary certifications, industrial complex move-in consulting to product commercialization, marketing, and investment to overseas expansion.


☞ Related events at the ICSB 2023 World Congress

– HE_HumaneprEnuers

– WE_WomenenprEnuers


☞ Notable companies in this sector in Gwangju

– Alps Korea Co. Ltd. (www.alpsalpine.com/ko): Switch & Sensor, Airbag

– Dayou A-Tech Co. Ltd. (www.dayouat.co.kr): Automobile seats

– Kumho HT Co. Ltd. (www.kumhoht.com): Safety automotive lights

– Kovico Co. Ltd. (www.kovico.com): Small-sized rear deck/dump kit, Specially designed vehicle, Military vehicle, Bus chassis, Etc

– Howon Co. Ltd. (www.howon.com): Filters, Parts for frame/bodies, Etc

– Moodeung Co. Ltd. (www.moodng.com): Panel assembly, Front door trim, Floor carpet, Etc

– Cams Co. Ltd. (https://icams.kr): Bumper Assembly (front, rear), Etc

– Najeon Co. Ltd. (www.najeon.co.kr): Trim assembly (luggage side), Etc

– Gwangil Co. Ltd. (www.gwang-il.com): Pannel assembly, Etc

– Hyundai Hitec Co. Ltd. (www.hht.kr): Shark-fin Antenna, PCB assembly, Camera & module, Controller, LED products, Etc

4. Energy Industry Valley of Korea

Gwangju city government declared to complete ‘2045 Carbon Neutral, Energy Self-Reliant City’ in July 2020 to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. And, it is vigorously supporting diffusion of new and renewable energy such as solar power and other low-carbon and distributed energy, energy storage system (ESS), and promoting new energy industry.


Underpinning these policies is the local energy business base and research infrastructure. A key initiative for this establishes the energy industry convergence complex. The complex promotes collaboration by integrating large-scale energy power generation facilities in a certain area with energy-related companies, institutions, and research institutes and by supporting R&D to foster the energy industry.

Surrounding areas of Gwangju locate Korean government-owned energy related companies such as KEPCO, KEPCO KDN, and Korea Electric Power Exchange (KEPCO) etc. Also Korea Energy Engineering University (KENTECH), which stands for Korean MIT, opened in 2022.


About 530 companies have moved into the Energy Valley so far, developing and producing various energy-related products and technologies. In the Valley, various projects are being carried out, such as the development of new future-oriented convergence energy technologies, the development of core technologies for power conversion and smart distribution, and the establishment of a multi-terminal DC terminal platform. To support this, the Korea Electric Research Institute, an internationally accredited testing and certification institution, and the next-generation high-capacity battery redox flow battery test and certification center are located here.


☞ Related events at the ICSB 2023 World Congress

– HE_HumaneprEnuers

– WE_WomenenprEnuers


☞ Notable companies in this sector in the region

– Sebang Industrial Co. Ltd. (www.sebangind.com): Batteries, Etc

– ELT Co. Ltd. (https://eltenergy.com): ESS, Generator, Etc

– Hysolution Co. Ltd. (www.hysolution.co.kr): Monitoring system, Etc

– Amitek Co. Ltd. (www.amitek.kr): AI-based energy management system, Intelligent Power Measuring, Solar Integrated Operation, Etc

– 그린정보시스템 (이숙희)

– Topinfra Co. Ltd. (https://topinfra.co.kr): Solar energy, Solar power O&M, Etc

– Hugreen Power Co. Ltd. (www.hugreenpower.com): Development/manufacturing of hydrogen generators and fuel cell systems, Etc

– Incell Co. Ltd. (https://incell.kr): ESS, Batteries, Etc

– Hyundai Rotech Co. Ltd. (www.rotech.kr): Extra High/low Voltage Switch Gear, Solar Power Station, Etc

– IBT Co. Ltd. (www.rocketibt.co.kr): Industrial Batteries, Etc

– Hogreen Air Co. Ltd. (www.hogreen.com): Hydrogen Fuel Cell, Drone, Anti-drone System, Etc

5. Center for Air Control Appliances

Air quality is closely related to quality of life. As the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) under the World Health Organization (WHO) designated fine dust as a group 1 carcinogen in 2013, the seriousness of fine dust that threatens human health is receiving great attention.


Market related to fine dust consists of the traditional fields such as air cleaners, dust collectors, catalysts, filters, and exhaust gas solutions, and is also expanding significantly in new sectors such as drones and future industries such as the supply of eco-friendly vehicles. In addition, the demand for masks, clothes dryers, sterilizers, and high-performance air purifiers, which have been established as daily necessities, is rapidly growing.



Gwangju city government established the Air Appliance Innovation Support Center in 2018, and nurtured it as a professional certification testing institution for indoor home air purifiers, ventilation devices, and filters. The Air Improvement Demonstration Center, which is being built with the goal of completion in 2023, plans to establish additional infrastructure for gas sensor and sterilizer certification to promote certification services for new convergence products. About 150 member companies are currently participating in the Korea Air Industry Promotion Association (KAIPA), headquartered in Gwangju, producing various types of air electronics from industrial to home use.


☞ Related events at the ICSB 2023 World Congress

– HE_HumaneprEnuers

– WE_WomenenprEnuers


☞ Notable companies in this sector in the region

– Winia Co. Ltd. (www.winia.com): Air conditioner, Air Purifier, Kimchi Refrigerator, Etc

– CLK Corporation (www.carrier.co.kr): Residential Air Conditioning, Light- Commercial air conditioning, Commercial & Industrial Products, Home Appliances & Accessories

– DH Global Co. Ltd. (https://global-dh.com): Dehumiditifier, Refrigerator, Etc

– Daeyoung Electronics Co. Ltd. (www.dyelc93.com): Air Purifier, Humidifier, Etc

– DK Co. Ltd. (https://e-dk.co.kr): Air Purifier, Sterilizer, ehumiditifier, Etc

– 한영피엔에스 (김윤섭)

– 두영실업 (김영종)

– Green Tech Co. Ltd. (https://greentech.or.kr): Heat exchanger for Air Conditioner/Refrigerator/Car, Valves for Air Conditioning, Etc

– 광원이엔지 (정웅용)

– 조인트리 (김흥중)


6. Emerging Strategic Industry, Medical & Healthcare

Gwangju’s medical industry began to flourish in 2002, starting with the operation of the Titanium Special Alloy Center for the development of dental medical devices. Further, biomedical industry has been selected as a regional core industry since 2014. It has focused on biomedical fields made of polymers, ceramics, and silicones, and has been extended to all fields of the medical industry. There were only two medical industry-related companies in 2002, but as of the end of 2021, 490 related companies, recording high growth of over 20.8% on average over the past three years.


The strength of the Gwangju medical device industry is the cooperative network between industry, academia, and hospitals. They have being full-cycle collaboration from product development through non-clinical and clinical trials to commercialization support.

There are 12 medical infrastructures for supporting corporation which are centering on two university dental hospitals, and Gwangju Techno Park. And, there are also in-depth medical research institutes. The Korea Micro-Medical Robotics Research Institute and the Asian Dementia Research Foundation, they are conducting research in related fields such as the establishment of big data for early detection, prevention, and overcoming of diseases.


On the other hand, as an AI hub city, a healthcare data center will be built in the digital infrastructure of the AI ​​cluster by 2024, a foundation for nurturing a high-tech medical industry centered on AI medical devices, digital bioabsorbable medical devices, and artificial organs. It also has strengths in that it possesses technical and technical skills.

☞ Related events at the ICSB 2023 World Congress

– HE_HumaneprEnuers

– WE_WomenenprEnuers

☞ Notable companies in this sector in the region

– Korea Prime Pharm Co. Ltd. (www.koreaprime.co.kr): ETC/OTC Medicine, Etc

– Geo Medical Co. Ltd. (www.geomedical.co.kr): (Disposable) Contact Lens. Etc

– Nanoom Tech Co. Ltd. (www.nanoomtech.com): AED, X-ray Bone Mineral Densitometer, High Frequency Stimulator, Active Frequency Generator, Etc

– TDM Co. Ltd. (https://tradimedics-e.com): Medical devices for insertion into the human body (screws and plates for bone junction, intervertebral body fixing materials, intramedullary fixing rods, etc)

– Anygen Co. Ltd. (www.anygen.com): Peptides for medical and industrial

– TPS-Korea Co. Ltd. (윤준석)

– Kuwotech Co. Ltd. (www.kuwotech.com): Fixture Endosseous Implant, Milling Ceramic, Mask, Etc

– Hudens Bio Co. Ltd. (www.hudens-bio.com): Dental Materials & Devices

– Search Medicals Co. Ltd. (https://searchmedi.co.kr): Sugical Sutures, PDO Thread, Dental Implant, Nasal Silicone Implant

– New Bio Co. Ltd. (www.contact-bio.com): Contact Lens

7. Photonics Industry that makes the City of Light Shine

Photonics industry is a field that recognizes light as a resource with economic value and creates added value using light. It includes parts materials, equipment and systems made by utilizing optical technology as a core technology. The photonics industry is one of the three specialized industrial sector in Gwangju along with healthcare and mobility.


Starting with the LED and application sectors in the early 2000s, it has developed into optical communication, laser, optical sensor, lens, and optical material industries. Based on this, it is being advanced into optical convergence industries such as optical energy/environment, optical medical/bio, and display/ICT convergence.


The number of companies related to the photonics industry is 315 as of 2022. Korea’s leading optical research, certification, and business support organizations, including the Korea Photonics Industry Promotion Association (KAPID) and the Korea Optical Technology Institute (KOPTI), are gathered in Gwangju. Recently, an Optical Material Center was opened to achieve self-reliance of optical materials and parts for camera lenses in Korea.


☞ Related events at the ICSB 2023 World Congress

– HE_HumaneprEnuers

– WE_WomenenprEnuers


☞ Notable companies in this sector in the region

– LG Innotech Co. Ltd. (www.lginnotek.com): Optics Solutions

– Top Solar Co. Ltd. (www.topsolar.kr): Solar Energy

– Kumho HT Co. Ltd. (www.kumhoht.com): Safety automotive lights

– OE Solutions Co. Ltd. (https://oesolutions.com): PON/Burst-mode Transceivers, Optical Transceivers, Smart SFPs

– Wooriro Co. Ltd. (www.wooriro.com): Passive/Active Optical Communication Devices, LRF(LASER RangeFinder) Receiver, Etc

– TopInfra Co. Ltd. (https://topinfra.co.kr): Solar energy, Solar power O&M, Etc

– MSGOC Co. Ltd. (www.glights.com): Optical Cables, PLC Splitter, Spectrometer, Water Quality Monitoring Sensor

– Geo Medical Co. Ltd. (www.geomedical.co.kr): Optical Materials

– NH Networks Co. Ltd. (www.nhss.co.kr): CCTV Cameras, Etc

– Opticis Co. Ltd. (www.opticis.com): Fiber-Optics Extension Link, Matrix Router, Convertor, Etc

8. A City of Democracy, Human Rights, and Peace

Gwangju symbolizes democracy, human rights, and peace. It is the result of expressing the will of the civic community as a city identity to capture the value of respect for people, the sacrifice and role of citizens in the Gwangju Democratization Movement in May 1980 in the process of democratization in Korea. Gwangju City has been awarding the ‘Gwangju Human Rights Award’ every year on May 18 to domestic and foreign individuals or organizations who have contributed to human rights, unification, and peace for mankind since 2000.


Major facilities and memorials related to democracy, human rights, and peace in Gwangju are as follows.

▷ May 18 Democratization Movement Archives: designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2011.

▷ 5.18 Memorial Cultural Center: to commemorate the noble sacrifice of the 5.18 democratization movement and to use it as a place of education for future generations.

▷ 5.18 National Cemetery: a space to commemorate the victims of the 5.18 democratization movement, and a space to confirm the spirit and historical significance of the democratization movement.


☞ Related events at the ICSB 2023 World Congress

– Get to Know Gwangju

9. A Region of Taste

Gwangju has been known as a city of taste since ancient times. Gourmet tourists visiting Gwangju in search of taste are on the rise, and Gwangju Kimchi Town operates a Kimchi Museum and Kimchi Education Experience Center. Visitors can taste the best Korean food in Gwangju.


In particular, they are welcoming people who enjoy gourmet food by recommending from 7 dishes that can be tasted in Gwangju. 7 Must Try Foods in Gwangju includes Tteokgalbi (grilled short rib patties), Ori tang (duck soup), Mudeungsan Bori-bap (boiled barley rice from Mudeungsan), Gwangju Hanjeongsik (Korean table d’hote), Sangchu tui gim (fried squid and lettuce), Yukjeon (meat pancake), and Jumeok-bap (rice balls).


☞ Related events at the ICSB 2023 World Congress

– Get to Know Gwangju (Making My own Kimchi)


10. Tourist Attractions worth Visiting

Gwangju has three UNESCO-designated heritage sites. The May 18 Democratization Movement document was designated as a UNESCO Human Rights Archives (2011), the Gwangju Media Art Platform as the UNESCO Creative City of Media Art (2014), and Mudeungsan Columnar Joints as a UNESCO Global Geopark (2018).

※ Major events during ICSB 2023 World Congress in surrounding area

▷ 2023 Suncheon Bay Garden Fair (2023. 4. 1. ~ 10.31. / scbay.suncheon.go.kr/expo/)

▷ 14th Gwangju Biennale (2023. 4. 7. ~ 7. 9. / www.gwangjubiennale.org/)

▷ 2023 Gwangju Design Biennale (2023. 9. 1. ~ 10.31.)

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Talia Tomarchio

WE Project Manager


Talia Tomarchio is the President and Founder of Steminist Squad. I am a Senior Computer Science major Neuroscience minor at Rowan University. During the pandemic, I felt disconnected and isolated in my studies. Assuming other girls felt the same, I created Steminist Squad! This community aims to give all young women the opportunity to become successful and supported in their STEM journey.

Nouf Al-Neyadi

Director of Marketing


Nouf Al-Neyadi is a Special Projects Manager within the International Council for Small Business (ICSB). Nouf holds responsibilities corresponding to journal management for both the Journal of Small Business Management (JSBM) and the Journal of the International Council for Small Business (JICSB). These official publications of ICSB aim to deliver quality research articles within the areas of small business management, entrepreneurship, and micro-small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).

Nouf is also a full-time MBA Candidate at The George Washington University School of Business (GWSB) focusing on Global Management as well as Marketing and Brand Management. Nouf completed her undergraduate studies from GWSB in Fall 2019 to obtain a BBA, a minor in Communications, and a dual concentration in International Business and Marketing. She holds over 5 years of experience in business management where she gained a passion for work that directly promotes diversity, curiosity, and creativity. She has a growing interest in global management to further improve the domestic and international business culture by utilizing a global mindset.

Rita Grant

Academy Co-Chair


Rita Grant is the Director of the School of Accounting at the Seidman College of Business at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Her teaching interests include Intermediate Accounting and International Accounting. Her research interests include harmonization, family business and financial disclosure issues. She is a member of the American Accounting Association and AAA sections APLG,FAR and TLC. She is an executive board member of the International Council for Small Business.

Hartmut Meyer

Academy Program Director


Dr. Hartmut-Heinrich Meyer is a professor of Business Administration and Entrepreneurship at FOM, Germany.

María Fernanda

Academy Program Director


María Fernanda Andrés is the director of Negocios de ACELERADORA LITORAL. Professor at the National University of the Litoral and National University of Rafaela of Argentina. President of the International Council for Small Business, Argentine subsidiary (2018-2019).

Jennifer Kirkland

Director of Sponsorship


Jennifer Kirkland is an MBA candidate at George Washington University School of Business. A graduate of Douglass College for Women at Rutgers University, she has a passion for women’s issues and strives to help women be their best. She also has years of experience fundraising for nonprofit organizations. She is the Director of Sponsorship for the ICSB, a wife, a mom, and a curious questioner.

Frederick Crane

Marketplace Chair


Executive Professor, Entrepreneurship & Innovation at Northeastern University

Dr. Crane is an Executive Professor of Entrepreneurship & Innovation at the College of Business at Northeastern University; Former Editor of the Journal of the Academy of Business Education; and co-founder of Ceilidh Insights LLC – an innovation management training, intellectual property consulting and consumer insight company.


At Northeastern, he teaches courses in entrepreneurship and innovation and serves as the Faculty Advisor for the Private Equity and Venture Capital Club.


Dr. Crane grew up in a family business and also started and operated several of his own businesses, including successful management consulting, innovation/design, and research firms. In addition to founding his own businesses, he has also been an angel investor and has worked as a consultant for angel investors, venture capitalists, and government agencies on venture funding projects.


His academic research activities have resulted in more than 100 publications including more than a dozen books. His current research stream intersects the domains of innovation, entrepreneurship and corporate venturing. Dr. Crane has also received numerous awards for teaching excellence over the past twenty years.


Dr. Crane lives on a farm with his spouse and their beloved horses and dogs. One of his major passions is equine rescue especially the welfare of wild mustangs. Profit from his book sales goes to these causes.

Ruth Dwyer

Womenpreneurs Chair


Dr. Ruth Dwyer. MD, serves as the Senior Project Manager for the International Council for Small Business (ICSB).


Pivoting pediatricians interested in social entrepreneurship, small businesses, and the SDGs. Ruth has worked on numerous medical startups. She enjoys painting, playing games, shooting hoops, and time with my family.

Adnane Maalaoui

Congress Co-Chair


Adnane Maalaoui is Director for Entrepreneurship programs at IPAG Business School. His researches mainly focus on entrepreneurship issues and especially on disadvantaged entrepreneurs (elderly, refugees, disabled entrepreneurs, etc.). He is interested in topics such as: entrepreneurial intention and cognitive approach to entrepreneurship. He mainly applies those questions to cases of diversity and social entrepreneurship. Adnan Maalaoui is the author of 20+ articles published in academic journals. Likewise, he is the author of articles published in professional journals, and in edited books. Adnane is also the author of a series of French speaking MOOCs on entrepreneurship.

Adnane Maalaoui, Congress Co-chair

Anuj Mehrotra

Congress Co-Chair
Dean, GWU School of Business


Anuj Mehrotra, Ph.D., is the dean of the George Washington University School of Business (GWSB). Under Dean Mehrotra’s leadership, GWSB has reimagined graduate business education through its modular and flexible offerings, which feature industry-driven certificates that can be used to create customizable master’s degrees. This innovative design allows the school to proactively respond to the shifting demands of business education. The school has also made changes to its undergraduate offerings by launching new bachelor of science degrees in business analytics and information systems as well as creating a business major for non-business school students. GWSB has also invested in making its programs more accessible through online education. Dean Mehrotra is credited with engaging the alumni and the business communities through innovative programs that focus on student success and lifelong learning. In 2019, alumni giving increased 20 percent and GWSB significantly improved in both national and global rankings while realizing substantial growth in graduate student enrollment.


Prior to coming to GWSB in July 2018, Dr. Mehrotra was at the (now) Miami Herbert Business School where he served as senior vice dean, vice dean for faculty development and research, the Leslie O. Barnes Scholar and professor of management science. He also served as the school’s interim dean, vice dean of graduate business programs and executive education, vice dean for faculty affairs, and chairperson of the Department of Management Science. During Dr. Mehrotra’s tenure as interim dean, the school was successfully re-accredited by AACSB, its graduate degree programs grew in enrollment, and the school’s fundraising grew by 70 percent year-over-year. He led the launch of online and hybrid degree programs that helped realize a 70 percent growth in graduate enrollment over a five-year period. Concurrently, the school’s degree and non-degree programs earned recognition among the best in various rankings.


Dr. Mehrotra’s research interests are in large-scale optimization and interdisciplinary applications. His research has been published in top-tier academic journals, including Management Science, Mathematical Programming, Naval Research Logistics, and the Informs Journal on Computing. He has been invited to present his research at national and international meetings, and he co-edited a book as well as a special issue of Discrete Applied Mathematics on computational methods for graph coloring and its generalizations. He has also co-chaired several conferences on optimization and related application areas. Dr. Mehrotra has worked with more than two dozen Fortune 500 companies, and his previous experience includes visiting positions at the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University and at the T.J. Watson Research Center.


Dean Mehrotra received his doctoral degree in operations research from the Georgia Institute of Technology, his master’s degree from Virginia Tech, and his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science in India.

Jordyn Murphy

Board Member, ICSB


Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled

Jordyn Murphy

Jeff Alves

Board Member, ICSB


Managing Editor, Journal of the International Council for Small Business (JICSB) and ICSB Board member.

Ricardo Alvarez

Board Member, ICSB


A seasoned entrepreneur, advertising and marketing professional, Dr. Ricardo Alvarez has more than 35 years of professional experience working in different industries, from advertising agencies to retail marketing to banking and health services. He holds a BS in Advertising and an MBA and DBA from USIU/CETYS University. He is a founding partner of Simó-Bosch Consulting, a business development and strategic services firm. Currently, he is a full-time entrepreneurship professor and researcher at CETYS University Graduate School of Business. Dr. Alvarez has been mentor in several incubators, like MindHub and Endeavor. He is the president of the Mexican chapter of the International Council for Small Business (ICSB), where he also serves as a voting board member. His academic research is focused on business innovation, experiential learning, organizational development, change management and entrepreneurship finance.

Amr AbouElazm

Board Member, ICSB


Mr. Abouelazm is the Chairman of Tamweely Micro Finance company. Board member of ICSB and President of ICSB Egypt.

Previously Mr. Aboelazm was the vice Chairman, CEO and co-founder of Tanmeyah Micro Enterprise Services before he divested his interest as the company was acquired by EFG-Hermes in a historical transaction that witnessed the highest value of a MF company in Egypt.

Mr. Abouelazm has accumulated 25 years of experience in banking, finance, economic development and investment finance. Mr. Abouelazm was earlier the Deputy Director of the German Development Bank (KFW) in Egypt.

Mr. Abouelazm is recognized as one of the main resource executives in Egypt in the field of management of financial service companies, policy structuring, operational management and corporate structuring.

Mr. Abouelazm has participated in the formulation of the National Micro Finance Strategy for Egypt and is a lecturer on Entrepreneurship development, financial services delivery and Management. He is recognized as a reference in the field by various financial institutions and service-providers. He is also an angel investor in a number of start ups and mentor to a number of entrepreneurs and advisor for Fin tech startups.

Mr. Abouelazm received a B.A in Economics from the American University in Cairo in 1993 and an AUC Masters Degree in Development specializing in Commercialization and Development of Micro Enterprises in 2004.

Mr. Abouelazm is a board member of the International council for small business (ICSB) , President of the Middle East Council for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (MCSBE).

He is a Board Member and Member of the restructuring committee, HR and MF committee of Nasser Social Bank. Mr. Abouelazm is also a board member of the Micro Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority (SMEDA).

Hermawan Kartajaya

Board Member, ICSB


Hermawan Kartajaya, the President of World Marketing Association, is one of the “50 Gurus Who Have Shaped The Future of Marketing” appointed by The Chartered Institute of Marketing, United Kingdom (CIM-UK).

Alex DeNoble

Board Member, ICSB


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Alex DeNoble

Ahmed Osman

Board Chair, ICSB


Chairman of the Board at International Council for Small Business (ICSB) & CEO CHROME

Ki-Chan Kim

Professor, Chairman at Korea Testing Certification


Dr. Ki-Chan Kim is a Professor of Management at the Catholic University of Korea. 


Professor Kim envisions a world where SMEs and established companies work in partnership.

Professor Kim teaches various MBA tracks including Humane Entrepreneurship, Platform Strategy, and Korea Management (K-Management). He served as Vice-Chancellor of the University and before that, he served as the Dean of the Business School.

Professor Kim advised numerous startups, SMEs, as well as more established enterprises such as Samsung Electronics and Hyundai Motors. He continues to advise these companies – for them to achieve a sustainable business model and eco-system. He believes with the right humane partnership model, the business will attract the most qualified workers, which will bring longevity to the industry.

More recently, Dr. Kim served as the Chairman of the Innovation Economy Division at the National Economic Advisory Council (NERC) for the President of South Korea, as well as the President of the International Council for Small Business (ICSB) and much more.

During his presidency at the ICSB, Professor Kim emphasized the happiness of employees in small and medium enterprises. From his extensive research in the automotive production line, he has found an undeniable connection between the worker’s satisfactory level of work and commitment to the product. Hence why Professor Kim estimates Employee’s dedication level as the ultimate asset of the company. With Dr. Kim’s initiatives (along with ICSB colleagues), the United Nations have declared June 27 as the UN MSMEs Day.

Dr. Kim’s most recent publication: “The Joy of Innovation (2019)” has been selected as the National Book Award of South Korea, King Sejong Book Collection 2020. The book highlights how businesses can stay competitive through innovation in a fluctuating market.

Ki-Chan Kim

Winslow Sargeant

Incoming Board Chair, ICSB


Winslow Sargeant is the Senior Advisor for Globalization and Head of Capital Markets for Genaesis. In this role, he syndicates opportunities with unaffiliated third-party capital partners – both domestically and internationally – facilitating optimized valuations and deal structures. He is also incoming Chair of the Board with the International Council for Small Business (ICSB).


From 2017-2020, Dr. Sargeant served as the President-Elect and Senior Vice President for Development and ICSB Vice President for Partnerships, respectively. During his tenure, he has work to educate government and non-profit organization leaders on what is required to build sustainable ecosystems for small businesses. With ICSB, he worked with select group to nations for the establishment of the Micro-, Small and Medium-Sized (MSMEs) ratified by the United Nations General Assembly on April 6, 2017. Dr. Sargeant help organized the annual Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) forum at the United Nations, held since 2017. From 2010 to 2015, he was the Chief Counsel for Advocacy with the United States (US) Small Business Administration (SBA)Office of Advocacy. Appointed by the President of the United States (POTUS) and later confirmed by the US Senate, the Chief Counsel for Advocacy directs the office. The Chief Counsel advances the views, concerns, and interests of small business before Congress, the White House, federal agencies, federal courts, and state policy makers. Economic research, policy analyses, and small business outreach help identify issues of concern. Regional Advocates and an office in Washington, DC, support the Chief Counsel’s efforts. From 2006 to 2009, he was the managing director at Venture Investors, LLC (VI), and early stage venture capital firm, headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin and $200M under management, VI invested in innovative research from leading universities in the upper Midwest. From 2001 to 2005, he was the program manager for the Small Business Innovations Research (SBIR) program Electronics topic in Industrial Innovation, a new office in the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Engineering Directorate. The SBIR program invests more than $100M per year in seed and early stage technology companies.

Winslow Sargeant

Analia Pastran

Analía Pastran


Analia Pastran, Founder and Executive Director of Smartly Social Entrepreneurship on the SDGs, New York and Buenos Aires.

Smartly is a social enterprise leading the way in coordinating action to communicate and localize the SDGs within the private and public sectors, in Latin America and beyond. It holds three international awards.

Mentor in the Program, Women in Public Policy of Cornell Institute for Public Affairs, Cornell University, New York. Analia was awarded with the Entrepreneurial Leadership award by International Council for Small Business (ICSB) in Salerno, Italy. Professor of Transnational Policy, Political Communication and Strategy & Geopolitics in the Catholic University of La Plata, Argentina. International Speaker. She worked also as the Director of Communication of the International Council of Small Businesses (ICSB), was a consultant at CIFAL Global Network, the Network of Training Centers affiliated to UNITAR (United Nations Institute for Training and Research).

Analía Pastran

Katia Passerini

Provost and Executive Vice President of Seton Hall University


Katia Passerini, Ph.D., a nationally recognized knowledge management scholar with extensive higher education experience, has been appointed Provost and Executive Vice President (EVP) of Seton Hall University. Passerini currently serves as the Lesley H. and William L. Collins Distinguished Chair and Dean of the Lesley H. and William L. Collins College of Professional Studies at St. John’s University.

Katia Passerini

Vicki Stylianou

Board Member, ICSB


Vicki Stylianou is the head of advocacy and policy at Institute of Public Accountants, Australia as well as an ICSB Board member.

Vicki Stylianou

Norris Krueger

Sr. Subject Matter Expert for Entrepreneurial Ecosystems & Learning, OECD/EU


Scholar, educator, writer, ecosystem builder, entrepreneur. Consultant to entrepreneurship educators globally, to academics globally, and to world’s best entrepreneurial ecosystem builders, Norris Krueger is proudest of championing entrepreneurs and innovators. How do we grow an expert entrepreneurial mindset? How do we grow a bottom-up entrepreneurial ecosystem? (Both often in the face of entrenched interests.)


Dr. Krueger has worked for and been honored by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and its landmark ESHIP program, the International Council for Small Business, Academy of Management, OECD, EU, ILO, UN, and for cities, states and countries worldwide. Locally, he proudly champions the Idaho Women’s Business Center, VentureCapital.Org, the Idaho Rural Growth Initiative and more. Learn more at www.norriskrueger.com and on social media @entrep_thinking.

Norris Krueger

Skye Blanks

Project Manager


Skye Blanks serves as the Junior Project Manager for the International Council for Small Business (ICSB), and specifically assists in the Knowledge Hubs (KHubs) project, which are institutions or networks, dedicated to capture, share and exchange development experiences with national and international partners in order to accelerate development for micro-small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). He also specializes in the ICSB’s Entrepreneurship certificate programs . In addition to being a project manager, Skye is pursuing a BA in International Affairs with a concentration in International Development from The George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs and he is also pursuing a minor in Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship from the GW School of Business. Before dedicating his work towards the ICSB, Skye worked abroad as a Research and Development Intern for the Barcelona based NGO, Asociación Bienestar y Desarrollo.

Skye Blanks

Tammy Nguyen

Event Manager


Tammy Nguyen recently graduated from San Diego State University, receiving a degree in Business Management with an emphasis in entrepreneurship. While attending SDSU, she worked with the Lavin Entrepreneurship center as the event coordinator to plan and run the California Entrepreneurship Educators Conference two years in a row. Tammy was also the Program and Mentorship coordinator for the Lavin Entrepreneurship Program that has been geared towards providing students from all over the campus entrepreneurship courses, skills, tools, and a valuable network to help develop future and current entrepreneurs. Outside of school, Tammy is President of Streets of Hope San Diego, a non-profit organization that provides food and resources to the homeless weekly. She also volunteers by running 4-6 business events yearly with Awaken Church’s Pathfinders Team.

Hannah Gilroy

Project Manager


Hannah Gilroy is a Project Manager at the International Council for Small Business. She works in collaboration with the rest of the ICSB staff within the realms of Marketing, website design and function, and ICSB’s research journals. Hannah has worked with ICSB since the onset of the 2020 global pandemic.


In addition to her work with ICSB, Hannah runs a collaborative writing company, called Writing You, through which her team works with clients on visioning plans using her skills in motivational interviewing, writing, and editing.

Hannah Gilroy

Kyle Lyon

Director of Registration


Kyle Lyon is the Junior Project Manager at the International Council for Small Business (ICSB), and primarily oversees membership, registrations, and financial activities for the ICSB. In addition to his duties, Kyle is a junior currently pursuing a B.A. in Marketing with a minor in communications at the George Washington University School of Business. Before dedicating his work towards the ICSB, Kyle served as a Legislative Intern for the Office of Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester.

Kyle Lyon