Highlights from GEW Canada 2013
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5 Dec 2013

The Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF) celebrated its fifth year as the official host of Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) in Canada! Over the past five years, the organization has worked diligently to build the movement in Canada, with hundreds of partners making it all possible.

In 2012, 400 partners, supporters and sponsors came together to create 515 GEW activities, engaging 29,195 Canadians. The 2012 campaign made 197,143,928 media impressions and an additional 6,606,508 impressions through websites, social media, e-newsletters and emails!

In 2013, Canada built on this momentum and hundreds of partners came together to host nearly 400 events. These in-person activities were complimented by an overarching theme of “entrepreneurial storytelling” and a related campaign accessible to Canadians across the country.

Here are some highlights from GEW Canada 2013:

Hello, My Name Is

To showcase the many faces of entrepreneurship in Canada, CYBF invited all Canadians to join an online meet-up to hear stories from established entrepreneurs as well as enter for a chance to represent Canada at the 2014 Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Moscow, Russia, by submitting a story about entrepreneurship.

This campaign was called “Hello, My Name Is” and was tied into an official kick-off for GEW at CYBF networking events hosted by the Keg Steakhouse & Bar in seven provinces. The St. John’s event was attended by the new Parliamentary Secretary for Innovation, Business and Rural Development, Paul Lane and the Hon. Steve Kent, Minister of Municipal and Intergovernmental Affairs, Minister Responsible for Fire and Emergency Services – Newfoundland and Labrador, and Registrar General.

A start-up company out of Saskatchewan called OneStory was selected to help gather video stories for the campaign in person and through their app.

Startup Weekend Partnership

CYBF partnered with Startup Weekend to officially launch and close GEW 2013 at eight events across the country. This year’s events include one focused on celebrating women in the tech sector and a Maker edition which allowed participants to get up close and personal with laser cutters, 3D printers and electronics.

Canadian Mentorship Challenge

This year CYBF partnered with Startup Canada to host the Canadian Mentorship Challenge. This is a nationwide challenge for organizations and individuals to host mentorship events in their communities during GEW. Through this initiative, more than 10,000 people were mentored at almost 100 events. Visit Canadian Mentorship Challenge for more information. To find out more about mentoring young entrepreneurs with CYBF, please visit cybf.ca/mentoring.

Youth Business International (YBI) Initiative

CYBF is a member of Youth Business International (YBI)  a global network of like-minded initiatives. The YBI network spans 39 countries and over the past year its members have assisted 11,884 young people to start a business.  

Along with YBI members around the world, CYBF took part in an exciting campaign called, “The YBI network: around the world, around the clock”. As part of this campaign, entrepreneurs will be encouraged to post videos on Facebook and map them to their locations.

GEW Ottawa

Ottawa’s entrepreneurship community came together to host more than 80 events in celebration ofGEW Ottawa. These events included boot camps, competitions, webinars, seminars and social events. Last year, Ottawa had the highest number of events of all the Canadian cities that participated and have kept this record for the second year running.

Startup Day on the Hill

On November 21, Startup Canada hosted Startup Canada Day on the Hill, which brought together the largest contingent of Canadian entrepreneurs and elected officials ever on Parliament Hill. This milestone event underscored the important role government plays in supporting and empowering entrepreneurs, who are the backbone and foundation of Canada’s prosperity.

Celebrations on Campus

Canada’s universities and colleges showed their entrepreneurial spirit this year by hosting events throughout the week. Highlights include Dawson College Eweek, events at Ryerson University andUniversity of New Brunswick and Startup Weekends at University of British Columbia and OCAD University.

Media Coverage and Official Statements

We’ve seen some great coverage of this year’s activities and invite you to take a look at some of the media highlights. CYBF was also featured on BBC World Service, and the week kicked off with statements from Prime Minister Stephen Harper and The Honourable Maxime Bernier. For more details on all the fantastic activities and coverage, visit www.gewcanada.com.

Global Entrepreneurship Week an opportunity for young people

Julia Deans

National Post, Nov. 18

Canada’s entrepreneurial place in the global ecosystem

Julia Deans

The Globe and Mail, Nov. 22, 2013

Celebrating local entrepreneurs

Nicole Osmond

Global News Halifax, Nov. 21, 2013

Global Entrepreneurship Week hits Toronto

Toronto Star Business Club, Nov. 18

Entrepreneur mentoring

The Sudbury Star, Nov. 18

Global Entrepreneurship Week Kicks Off In Canada

Arlene Dickinson’s YouInc. Website, Nov. 18

Mentorship: A Key Element to a Thriving Canadian Economy

TechVibes, Nov. 6

In closing

Although this year’s celebrations have come to an end, we’d like to take a moment to think once again about the invaluable role small businesses and entrepreneurs play in our communities in helping them thrive. Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s GEW, especially the GEW Canada 2013 Advisory Counciland to all of our partners who helped inspire even more Canadians to pursue entrepreneurship and realize their dreams. Way to go, Canada!