European Ecosystem Leaders Prepare for GEW 2020
18 Aug 2020

Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) is a collection of tens of thousands of activities, competitions and events in 170+ countries each November aimed at making it easier for anyone, anywhere to start and scale a company.

Founded in 2008, GEW inspires millions each year to explore their potential while fostering connections and increasing collaboration within their ecosystems to empower entrepreneurs and strengthen communities.

There are four themes for GEW 2020: Ecosystems, Education, Inclusion and Policy.

GEN spoke with European leaders from Germany, Russia and Turkey that participated in GEW 2019 on the entrepreneurial ecosystem in their country, the events they plan to organize to celebrate GEW 2020 and how they can make a digital transformation to adapt to the current climate in face of COVID-19.


To support courageous starters in Germany, Gruenderwoche has lined-up over 80 activities for GEW (16-22 November). Most of this year’s activities will have a virtual format, such as webinars, video streams or online advice sessions. Participants can attend from home, safely and effectively, using digital offerings from the GEW partners.

"Founding means diversity" is the motto of this year’s Gruenderwoche. Hosted by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and the RKW Centre of Excellence, the 2020 program emphasizes the role that businesses – of all sizes – have in shaping society and strengthening the economy. Organizers note that “it is crucial for citizens to become independent at these challenging times. Access to know-how and diverse networks is vital”.

Check out Germany's GEW event calendar here


GEW Russia will be under the auspices of The Ministry of Economic Development. Center for Entrepreneurship, the official GEW host organization, is working with regional governors across Russia to organize activities.

GEW 2019 was a record year in terms of participation, with 62 out of 85 regions taking part. This year, GEW Russia is looking to extend its reach even further with support from regional officials. As a new addition, GEW Russia will now feature a series of high impact entrepreneurial events throughout the country.


GEW Turkey host organization, Habitat, is organizing activities with the Turkish entrepreneurship ecosystem to focus two items:

  • Implications of COVID-19 on the entrepreneurship ecosystem; and
  • Forming a post COVID-19 action plan.

Since its inception, GEW Turkey has built a platform supporting over 300 stakeholder institutions, including NGOs, universities, entrepreneurs, investors, private sector, media and government institutions.

According to a recent survey published by Endeavor Turkey, a member of GEW Turkey Advisory Board, the top concerns of startups are:

  • Loss of existing customers;
  • Inability to find new customers; and
  • Delayed payments.

Approximately 90% of those surveyed (250 startups) have switched to home office. Almost 65% took measures to reduce expenses in operations, marketing and business development. 75% of the respondents foresee a decrease in 2020 profits. While 76% of the companies surveyed stated that the number of their employees has not changed. However, most of the decrease in employment occurred in micro and small businesses.

Decrease of R&D budgets due to termination, postponement or cancellation of funds / grants / investments is another major concern. Transportation restrictions and customs issues have also affected the sales, marketing and business development activities of entrepreneurs doing business abroad.

Buke Cuhadar

Vice President for Global Operations | Global Entrepreneurship Network

Buke Cuhadar serves as Vice President of Global Operations for the Global Entrepreneurship Network, a year-round platform of programs and… More