The International Entrepreneurship Forum (IEF) network consists of academics, practitioners, policy makers and representatives from social and community-based organisations. It holds annual conferences in various parts of the globe together with local host institutions, and enables partnerships among delegates and others to advance new knowledge on entrepreneurship, innovation, economic and social development. The IEF events are designed to encourage the meeting of these four (plus) groups based on the belief that there is as much value in academic exploration as in discovery through practice. Through this process of interaction, the IEF network aims to obtain a better appreciation of the subject of entrepreneurship. Since its inception, the IEF has held an annual event each year for the past 16 years on a specific and typical theme for deliberation, presentations and discussion.
The IEF was founded by Professor Jay Mitra in 2000, and since that time it has evolved as an extensive network of academic researchers, policy makers, practitioners, and community-based organisation representatives from around the world, all giving their time and lending their expertise voluntarily as part of a quadruple helix platform for entrepreneurship, innovation, economic and social development.
An impressive array of speakers and other contributors have generated a wealth of knowledge on the subject. Each event has been marked by a rich variety of research papers, key contributions by practitioners and decision makers, and, significantly, by formal and informal hours of interaction between owner-managers, academics and decision makers. Crucially, participants have been able to use the highly interactive format of the events to develop new partnerships and projects to pursue particular activities. One of the most satisfying outcomes of all the events has been the identification of new interest, scholarship and insight into entrepreneurial activity, across different countries, demonstrating the value of learning in an international arena of thought and practice. This outcome informs the themes and topics chosen for each conference.
The IEF continues to collaborate with the OECD's Centre for Entrepreneurship in Paris France, the International Network for SMEs, Rome Italy and various institutions, networks and individuals across the world.