GainingEdge Scholars

In 2020, GainingEdge announced the second student to receive a GainingEdge Scholar since the program was launched in 2018 as part of our company’s commitment to the industry.

Scholar: Vinícius Ribeiro de Silva, Leisure and Tourism, University of São Paulo

Scholar’s Project: Assess the Business Case for the Creation of the ‘Academic Institute for the Development of the Business Meetings Industry’ in Latin America.  The project is being conducted with the Asociación CVB’s LATAM & El Caribe.

This project has five main steps, to be carried out from July 2020-June 2021:

  1. Situation Analysis: Review materials, reports, desk research
  2. Engagement: Interview members of LATAM/CARIBE CVB industry
  3. Development of business case: Based on the research and engagement, develop a draft business case for the new Institute
  4. Activation for Institute: Strategic priorities, budget, governance, structure, KPIs and milestones
  5. Report and recommendations

Vinícius explains: “The project will determine what is realistic and achievable for the Institute in its aim to enhance the industry through training and education, impact measurement, and big data.  My role will be to conduct research, interview industry leaders and help prepare reports and recommendations.  This will be a tremendous opportunity for me to apply my knowledge in practice, to be in contact with business events professionals in Latin America, and conduct research that is relevant and timely.”

Vinícius is completing his university degree in Leisure and Tourism from the Universidade de São Paulo in Brazil.  He has also studied in the UK and Spain, and has had work experience with a travel agency, museum, and airport.  Vinícius speaks fluent Portuguese, Spanish, and English, and is currently learning French.

In 2018, the first year of our GainingEdge Scholar programme, we offered the internship opportunity to not one, but two, young and deserving scholars from Africa. Mercy Cherono Too is from Nairobi, while Stalin Tawanda Mau Mau is currently based in Bangkok, Thailand.

Scholar: Mercy Cherono Too, BSc. Events and Convention Management, Technical University of Kenya

Scholar’s Project: AfSAE (African Society of Association Executives)-GainingEdge-Greg Talley Management Research Project “Scoping out African Associations’ Potential.” 

This project is divided into two phases which focus on:

  • Phase 1: Building the current AfSAE database in terms of new membership and updating information on existing members.
  • Phase 2: A research study on the current capacity of African associations and identifying impactful solutions with a focus on using training as a means to enhance the growth of the associations.

Mercy explains:The project’s Vision is to provide African associations with a way to harness their potential and map out a channel for their evolution. The project aims to find out the current capacity of African associations and what factors (if any) are limiting their success. And more importantly, what can be done to further build their capacities.”

Mercy was recently elected as the Congresswoman/School Representative for the School of Hospitality and Tourism in her school. She has diverse interests but the advancement of women in Africa is a course she is very passionate about.  Last year, Mercy developed a card game to be used as a facilitation tool for sexuality education in high schools across Kenya.

 “I am excited about the fact that I get to do a research study that could shape the association landscape in Africa, which will go a long way in impacting the professional and economic development of people in Africa. I am happy I get to work alongside a great team at GainingEdge, in building the only current database on African associations, which makes me part of a great contribution to MICE (business events) in Africa and especially because we are connecting the African community.”


GainingEdge organises GainingConnections activities at trade shows and industry events during the year, such as IMEX Frankfurt and the ICCA Congress. These consist of:

- Educational events
- Business leads exchanges

Please contact us should you wish to participate in these events or would like to know when the next activities are taking place.