To celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) 2021, national hosts around the world worked hard to bring campaigns to life in 200 countries. GEN will spotlight some of these campaigns to share how entrepreneurs were inspired and empowered in different parts of the world.
GEN caught up with Steve Cheah, the National Host for Global Entrepreneurship Week in Thailand, to learn about the activities planned across the country, the collaboration taking place to make it all possible and goals for the 2021 campaign.
Cheah is Diplomatic Council Head of Mission to Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam as well as a social entrepreneur and advisor. GEW Thailand celebrated the week with a series of virtual activities with support of partner organizations like the International Labour Organization (ILO) and a wide range of topics by different speakers. The focus of this year's event was COVID-19 recovery and diversity.
GEN: How did Thailand come together to celebrate GEW?
Steve Cheah, GEW Thailand: The Ministry of Education also hosted events at a number of schools on entrepreneurial education. Whilst all the events this year were virtual, there was one GEW meet-up celebration called Pitch@School Demo Day.
What key activities took place in your country during GEW?
Steve Cheah, GEW Thailand: There was a meet-up GEW Celebration called Pitch@School Demo Day. It took place at Surasakmontree School, where high-school students had the chance to pitch their project in front of a live audience. It was followed by a panel discussion on "Entrepreneurial Mindset Education & the Future of Innovation in Thailand" and an interactive dialogue titled "Impact on Entrepreneurial Education and Cross-Border Collaboration at the School Level." There were numerous virtual events and an afternoon session with ILO titled "Rebuilding Better: Fostering Business Resilience Post-COVID-19."
What were your goals for GEW 2021?
Steve Cheah, GEW Thailand: Our goals this year were to raise awareness on COVID-19 recovery and entrepreneurial mindset education by increasing engagements and reach through social media and news coverage.
Why is Global Entrepreneurship Week important for your country's startup ecosystem?
Steve Cheah, GEW Thailand: It allows us to demonstrate how local partners can use this event to their advantage to showcase their businesses, and to at least get the involvement and engagements of policymakers and ecosystem players.
What do you want the world to know about your country's startup ecosystem? What trends, if any, are you noticing?
Steve Cheah, GEW Thailand: The startup ecosystem has been slow to produce the desired results. We need to look at new approaches and effective support capacity building efforts.
Please add anything else you would like to share.
Steve Cheah, GEW Thailand: GEN Thailand has successfully launched the first entrepreneurial mindset education and business pitching competition with www.pitchatschool.org, designed for high school students. The initial batch started in Thailand and rolled-out in the region with a number of countries. The project is supported by leading schools in collaboration with the top University in Thailand and has received the endorsement of the Diplomatic council (a UN reg organization with consultative status with the ECOSOC) to jointly launch cross-border collaboration at school level with the Pitch@School International students' Paiting (ISP) program.
Watch the Pitch@School Demo Day competition here.