GEW: Inspiring Millions to Embrace Entrepreneurship
Jun 01, 2011
Like most—if not all—new ventures, it started with an idea. What if there were a global movement to inspire people everywhere to embrace entrepreneurship?For three straight years now, Global Entrepreneurship Week has been a rallying point for thousands of organizations working together to strengthen economies while changing the world around them. During that time, more than 17 million people have taken part in 95,000 events, activities and competitions all designed to help them explore their potential as innovators, and for some, even launch their own startups.In 2010, the campaign grew to include 104 countries, enjoying the participation and support of prominent leaders, including: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, UK Prime Minister David Cameron, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Portugese President Anibal Cavaco da Silva and more than a dozen economic ministers on six continents.This year, GEW occurs from November 14 – 20, spurring new ideas, ingenuity and firm creation through more than 40,000 local, national and global activities. Leading the way is an interesting collection of activities that will continue to evolve in the weeks and months ahead, including:· Startup Open Startup Open recognizes promising new startups around the world in a global competition that is open to any entrepreneur who has just started, or is about to start, a new venture. The 50 most promising startups from around the world will be recognized as “The GEW 50,” based on a range of criteria including strength of concept, growth projections and knowledge of the market. Last year’s overall winner, Olivier Ceberio, founder of Resolute Marine Energy, earned a free trip to Richard Branson’s Necker Island where he took part in multiple networking sessions with Branson and other successful entrepreneurs. · Cleantech Open Global Ideas Competition The Cleantech Open Global Ideas Competition seeks to find the best clean technology ideas from around the world – from revolutionary ways to generate clean energy, to better ways to filter water, to ideas about how governmental policies around climate change can foster new businesses, all new concepts are welcome. Finalists will deliver a five-minute pitch to an audience that includes 2,500 investors and entrepreneurs with a chance at winning $100,000 in support and services to help turn their idea into a business.· Startup WeekendStartup Weekend brings developers, marketers, product managers and startup enthusiasts together for 54 hours to share ideas and launch new startups. Beginning with open pitches on Friday, attendees in dozens of cities will hone in on the most promising concepts with teams focusing on customer development, idea validation and creating a viable product. By Sunday evening, teams demo their prototypes and receive valuable feedback from a panel of experts – competing for prizes that help speed them to launch. More than 20 cities around the world are hosting Startup Weekend events during GEW.· Your Big YearYour Big Year offers two winners a free, year-long trip around the world, giving them the opportunity to explore different countries while meeting leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs. The competition is designed to encourage global citizenship while honing innovation and leadership skills – essential to entrepreneurial development. In 2010, more than 44,000 contestants completed a series of online challenges before 24 finalists were flown to Liverpool, England, to compete during GEW. More than just seven days, Global Entrepreneurship Week is a rapidly emerging movement of creative and innovative individuals and organizations—all unleashing new ideas. To learn how you can get involved—and to see if your country is already participating—visit unleashingideas.org.