Seven months ago, on the 16th day of April in 2016, Ecuador lived one of the most horrifying events ever experienced in decades. A 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit the coast of the country (mainly the provinces of Esmeraldas and Manabí) leaving hundreds dead, thousands injured and homeless, and several million dollars were lost.
Just a few hours after the earthquake, thousands of people from around the country travelled to the affected areas in order to help with donations, volunteering and putting forth their international networks. After the urgent situations were taken care of, it made way for the reconstruction process.
Here is where many programs came about and permitted for the economy to reactivate in both Manabí and Esmeraldas. Ecuadorian public and private initiatives are constantly working to provide the homeless with the opportunity to fulfill their dreams, no matter the situation at hand. “Ecuador levanta a Ecuador” (Ecuador raises Ecuador) is an example of the result of having a country come together and work smart toward a positive goal.
This year’s GEW Ecuador was evidence of the unity found in the community after this tragic event. During the month of November, the country put together 300 events from 156 allies distributed in 35 cities of the 24 provinces. The actual Global Entrepreneurship Week started in Cuenca with a Seminar Workshop for Entrepreneurs supported by the Ecuadorian-American Chamber of Commerce. In this activity, entrepreneurs were given the necessary tools to make a business sustainable in time. The next event happened in Guayaquil, where the organization Innobis brought together many known characters of the city´s ecosystem and shared with entrepreneurs the options they have in financial support for their projects.
In Quito, the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Alliance continued the celebration by promoting a series of activities across the city, which focused on entrepreneurial education, development of innovation and the importance of sustainable ecosystems. The major input this city made to the community was the entrepreneur capital finance program; an investment forum focused on Ecuador’s positive achievements in both entrepreneurship and innovation.
Last, but most definitely not least, Guayaquil´s Play Business School made an impression with their SMARkeTing Day; a day full of intensive workshops, micro chats and talks centered on the merge between technology and business in pro of industry growth. This event concluded with a conference on Tendencies in Entrepreneurship and Innovation for 2017.
These activities are only brief examples that took place during Global Entrepreneurship Week, many of which were full of surprises and opportunities for the entrepreneur. On the remainder week left in November, more activities still happened, many of which are focused on women. Some activities include the launching of the first working moms platform through lila.com and the “Mujeres de Matilde” conference lead by Girls in Tech. There also have been events focused on the younger crowd like ES-TIME by Club de Emprendedores; an entrepreneurship and social innovation camp for the future problem solvers of our society.
Ecuador`s entrepreneurial ecosystem is getting stronger by the minute, and the country is rising from the rubble thanks to the efforts and initiatives of its own people. Ecuador Levanta a Ecuador!