In November 2019, 10 million people in over 170 countries around the world celebrated the 12th edition of Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) through 35,000 different events. With an international network of over 30,000 partners, events during GEW are designed to stimulate, inspire and encourage entrepreneurial activities through different stakeholder groups. These events aim to promote originality, creativity and ingenuity through local and global activities.The Edward de Bono Institute has proudly been the official National Host for this event in Malta for 11 years, and collaborates each year with various partner organisations to put together exciting programmes of activities to join this global celebration of entrepreneurship.
This year, the programme kicked off on Thursday 7th November with an engaging guest lecture by international lateral thinking guru Paul Sloane, on how leaders "start more fires" by inspiring their teams and managing innovation. Paul has authored 30 books on lateral puzzles and creative leadership, of which over 2 million copies have been sold.
On Friday 8th November, EUPA Malta organised its annual Europass conference for SCPD educators and invited Edward de Bono Institute Director Dr Leonie Baldacchino to deliver a keynote presentation on creativity, innovation and entrepreneurial mindsets. The delegates engaged in lively discussions and creative thinking exercises, which warmed them up for an interactive board game workshop led by the EUPA.
Next up on the programme was our Postgraduate Research Seminar on Monday 11th November. The Edward de Bono Institute's academic staff delivered brief presentations about their research interests, and a colleague from the University of Malta' International Office outlined the various mobility opportunities available for students under the Erasmus+ programme. A special well done goes to our students Samantha Pace Gasan, Johann Agius, Oliver Saliba, Kristina Buhagiar, Minou Schillings and Oleksandr Sheleyo who delivered presentations about their research projects.
This year, GEW Malta was honoured with the participation of MIT Regional Entrepreneurship Accelerator Programme Director Travis Hunter and Assistant Director Longzhen Han. They attended the research seminar on Monday morning where they delivered a brief presentation about their programme, and later met with the Director of the University of Malta's Centre for Entrepreneurship and Business Incubation Professor Russell Smith, the manager of TakeOff Business Incubator Ing. Joseph Bartolo, and the Director of the Knowledge Transfer Office Dr Ing. Anton Bartolo. On Tuesday 12th November, Travis and Longzhen met with representatives of Malta Enterprise and participated in the Malta Startup Forum.
GEW in Malta proceeded on Monday 18th November with a business concept pitching event. This event provided Executive MBA final year students enrolled in an entrepreneurship elective study unit with an enhanced opportunity for peer-learning, discussion and expert insights at an early stage in exploring their business concepts, by presenting to a select panel of experts and practitioners involved in the field of entrepreneurship. Project deliverables of the elective programme ultimately required students to engage in an extended feasibility study assessing the potential for their business ideas, this acts as a prelude to potentially pursuing the concept and entrepreneurial opportunity further. This event was reserved for students reading for the Executive MBA elective Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
In conjunction to the business concept pitching event, on Monday 18th November the Malta College of Arts, Science & Technology (MCAST) organised an entrepreneurship workshop for degree students enrolled in an Entrepreneurship module. The aim of this workshop was to highlight the support services offered by Malta Enterprise, to accentuate the importance of financial statements in start-ups, and to provide insight into how the MCAST Entrepreneurship Centre may provide students with the support required in order to develop assignment ideas into real businesses, Students attending this workshop benefitted from insight into the entrepreneurial experience from the accounts of a seasoned entrepreneur and two MCAST alumni who are business owners.
On Tuesday 19th November, a panel discussion titled 'Driving Innovation: From Idea Generation to Implementation' was held at BUSINESSLABS in B'Kara. This event was targeted mainly at The Edward de Bono Institute's entrepreneurship students but was also open to the general public, free of charge. Panel members were entrepreneurs Zach Ciappara of FreeHour and Matthew Wismayer of Pet Nutrition Ltd., intrapreneurs Thresa Atkins of Strand Palace Agencies and Jessica Grima of Mediterranean Ceramics, and Professor Sandra Dingli from the Edward de Bono Institute. Dr Leonie Baldacchino, Director of The Edward de Bono Institute, moderated the discussion which focused on how to capture creativity from various internal and external sources to drive innovation.
Next on the GEW Malta programme was an information session hosted by The Edward de Bono Institute on Thursday 21st November called 'Malta's Entrepreneurship Ecosystem: Resources, Incentives and Support'. This information session brought together a variety of stakeholders who strive to mobilise entrepreneurial activities through support initiatives and resources. Presentations were provided by the University of Malta's TakeOff Business Incubator and Knowledge Transfer Office, Malta Enterprise, Malta Council for Science and Technology, Go Beyond Investing, ZAAR crowdfunding platform, Trade Malta's internationalisation support, Malta Information Technology Agency's Innovation Hub and 'Youth StartIT' initiative, the Ministry for the Economy, Investment and Small Business' 'Enterprise Incentives' app, BUSINESSLABS and CocoHub. This event was primarily aimed at the Edward de Bono Institute students sitting for their Master in Creativity and Innovation, however, all other students and members of the general public were welcome to join.
Next, social entrepreneur Carolin Zeitler conducted a workshop on Thursday 21st November called 'Design Thinking Tools for your start-up'. Combined with the expertise and knowledge of the participants of the Social Innovators Mastermind, this workshop offered attendees many benefits, including practical knowledge on applying the human-centered design method, an increase in creative confidence and inspiration, and a networking opportunity to meet like-minded individuals.
Between Thursday 21st November and Friday 22nd November, the Edward de Bono Institute hosted the ProBM2 kick-off meeting at the University of Malta. The ProBM2 project which is an Erasmus+ project, is a continuation of "the ProBM" project. The aim of this project is to establish a training programme aimed at equipping adult educators and programme trainers with the necessary educational content required to teach business models. Between Thursday 21st and Friday 22nd November project partners came together to discuss insights and establish an action plan.
On Friday 22nd November, a Gala Dinner was held to announce the winners of Trade Malta's International Business Awards, where companies from various sectors competed for the title of best exporters. Winners were selected after a pitching event by an adjudicating panel.
GEW Malta came to an end on Saturday 23rd November with a clinic for Start-Ups & Entrepreneurs. This climic provided easy access to experienced entrepreneurs, experts, mentors and coaches who discussed ideas, answered questions, established connections and provided reassurance that support is available for those who are aspiring to be entrepreneurs.