Prof. Marius Venter is the Director of the Centre for Local Economic Development in the Department of Economics and Econometrics at the University of Johannesburg where he teaches, conducts research, and undertakes community outreach. He is focused on promoting new excellence, preparing the next generation of local economic and human settlement development practitioners, and creating enduring physical and virtual spaces of interactions among practitioners, academia, researchers, and stakeholders.

Dr. Venter was previously Chief Executive Officer with Overstrand Local Economic Development Agency, where he was focused on implementing economic development projects. He also held several roles with the City of Johannesburg for 22 years as Head of the Transport Department’s Training Centre, Deputy Director of Privatization, Deputy Director of Informal Trade, Deputy Director of the Johannesburg Fresh Produce Market and Executive Director of Local Economic Development (LED).

Prof. Venter has facilitated new career paths for LED practitioners and has worked with a consortium of 10 South African Universities to develop undergraduate and graduate degree programs in LED. He is a founding member of the Economic Development Council of South Africa. He founded the Centre for Entrepreneurship Education and Development SA, which is currently known as “The Business Place” and the “Real Enterprise Development” Centres (now Enterprise Development Centres) assisting entrepreneurs to establish businesses.

Prof. Venter is the Director of PASCAL Observatory Africa, a global alliance that works in collaboration with city and regional leaders to balance economic growth, social inclusion, and environmental sustainability.