CELEBRATE | November 17, 2014

Global Entrepreneurship Week Opens in 150 Countries

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Global Entrepreneurship Week officially opens today in 150 countries with millions of people—from young students to nascent entrepreneurs to government leaders—taking part in a wide range of events, activities and competitions throughout the week.

The initiative is now in its seventh year and continues to expand its reach since it began in 2008, founded by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, with 77 countries. GEW runs from November 17 – 23, 2014.

“Global Entrepreneurship Week is a shot of adrenaline at one point in the year,” said Jonathan Ortmans, president of Global Entrepreneurship Week. “But it has led to the creation of a year-round platform that is creating one global entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

The week opens with a new Global Entrepreneurship Index that measures the entrepreneurial ecosystems in 130 countries. Policy-driven events featuring discussions about the Index findings and how they can be used to advance entrepreneurial growth are being held in Athens, Cairo, Frankfurt, Gaborone, Jakarta, London, Lusaka, Nicosia, Prague, Riyadh, Sofia and more.

Campaigns around the world have held launch events to mark the opening day. GEW Philippines held an event with SALT, the official Philippine candidate to the Startup Nations Competition in Korea later this week. GEW Qatar held a Gala Dinner Sunday night for 200 guests followed by an official opening ceremony this morning with HE the Minister of Economy and Commerce, Sheik Ahmed Bin Jassim Al ThaniGEW Mauritius held an Entrepreneurship Training Workshop to mark the launch of its campaign. GEW Dominica is marking the opening day by having the Honorable Minister for Culture, Youth and Sports, Justina Charles, officially declare the week open with a radio and television message.

Meanwhile, a number of global competitions are identifying some of the most promising startups around the world while other events aim to reach students and others to inspire them while connecting them to potential collaborators, mentors and investors.

Highlights for the week include:

Startup Open

Founders and founder teams from 38 countries submitted more than 600 startups for a shot at the grand prize of an all-expenses paid trip to Milan, Italy for the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in March 2015. The winner will be announced on Tuesday.

Global Entrepreneurship Summit

Organized by the U.S. Government and the Kingdom of Morocco, the summit in Marrakech features U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and Mohamed Boussaid, Minister of Economy and Finance of Morocco.

World Series of Innovation

High school and college students from the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship form small teams to compete in a series of innovation challenges that include game development, geolocation apps, school improvement, business growth and more.

Get in the Ring

Regional winners from Eastern Europe and Western Europe will be announced today, joining global finalists from Africa, Asia, Middle East, North America, South America and Southern Europe to pitch angel investors from a boxing ring in Rotterdam, Netherlands, for a prize package worth 25,000 euros and a chance at up to 1 million euros in investment.

Creative Business Cup

Entrepreneurs from the creative industries--including art, entertainment and design —in 50 countries compete starting today in Copenhagen, Denmark, in the global finals while receiving training and support through one-on-one sessions, investor matchmaking and more.

VC4Africa Meetups

More than 1000 people have signed up to participate in Africa’s largest startup event with networking meetups in roughly 40 cities—reaching African entrepreneurs on the continent as well as those spread around the world.

Startup Nations Summit

Startup community leaders and policymakers from 40 countries gather in Seoul, Korea, to explore effective policies and programs to support entrepreneurs while tech startups compete for $100,000 in cash prizes.

Winners of these competitions and other highlights will be released throughout the week at gew.co and on Twitter at #GEW2014.

Mark is the executive vice president of the Global Entrepreneurship Network, a platform of programs and initiatives created by the communities… About the author