- To be held from 18-24 November
- 10 million people, 35,000 events, 170+ countries
- Removing barriers and welcoming all
GEW is a celebration of entrepreneurs—innovators and job creators who launch startups that bring ideas to life, drive economic growth and expand human welfare. During one week each November, GEW inspires people everywhere through local, national and global activities designed to help them explore their potential to start, scale and succeed.
These activities, from large-scale competitions and events to intimate networking gatherings, connect participants to potential collaborators, mentors and even investors—introducing them to new possibilities and exciting opportunities. Millions who had never before considered launching their own ventures soak up advice and inspiration from the likes of Richard Branson, Michael Dell, Muhammad Yunus and Jeff Hoffman.
Thousands of brand-new startups spring to life through bootcamps like Startup Weekend and competitions like Startup Open. Hundreds of universities strengthen connections that help them commercialize research from their labs. Researchers and policymakers engage in discussions around the world to examine the underlying policies necessary to promote entrepreneurial growth.
And serial entrepreneurs share their expertise through activities like EO24, run by the Entrepreneurs’ Organization, and practical training courses like FastTrac.
Meanwhile, world leaders and local elected officials alike have embraced the campaign, as they look to fuel the economic engine of high-growth startups in their own countries and communities. Heads of state and ministers from many countries supported Global Entrepreneurship Week by speaking at activities during the Week, filming statements of support or otherwise endorsing the national campaigns in their countries. GEW is more than just an awareness campaign. It is a platform for connection and collaboration—engaging all players along the entrepreneurship spectrum in strengthening ecosystems around the world.
Why Global Entrepreneurship eek matters
The opportunity gap
When you travel around the world, it is clear that talent is distributed pretty evenly. People are smart, ambitious, and creative in cities, villages, and everything in between. At the same time, the opportunities to use those talents just don't exist for many. I think this is one of the most important injustices for us to recognize and redress to build a healthier, more equitable 21st century. GEW's focus on global entrepreneurship is a great way to highlight that, brilliant ideas and great organizations can come from anyone, anywhere.
Sense of common purpose
Entrepreneurs often feel a tension between the desire for creative freedom and the desire to be a part of something larger than themselves and their companies. Worldwide events like GEW have the potential to speak to that second desire, and in the process pull people out of themselves, even if just for a minute to discover new partners and new inspiration.
Who young people look at and celebrate can make a significant difference in how they behave and what they aspire to become. Highlighting not just entrepreneurs, but peer entrepreneurs, has an immense validating power.
The youth bulge
There are predictions of escalating unemployment among youth in developing nations. Job creation just isn't keeping pace with growth among the under-30 population, particularly in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. For the most part, these regions don't have the same kind of entrepreneurial support systems enjoyed by developed nations. They also don't have consistent access to quality education, so employability becomes a greater issue, especially at the bottom of the pyramid. Helping youth understand the basic tenets of running your own business is a great start. Global Entrepreneurship Week does that, and provides models and idea exchanges to motivate budding entrepreneurs.
It is more than just a week
Global Entrepreneurship Week is an opportunity to showcase and celebrate all the amazing work that goes on year-round. Our partners (the wonderful organizations that run activities during the Week) use Global Entrepreneurship Week to launch something new, showcase their projects, or just generally raise the profile of entrepreneurship in their locality. They do this because we all recognize that entrepreneurship is a force for good. It can lift people out of poverty, enable people to take control of their own lives, or simply turn their passions into profit. Activities range from enterprise competitions to talks from local role models to large scale conferences.