From a Grammy award-winning punk rock musician’s advice on entrepreneurship to the journeys of alumni culinarians, Penn State’s Global Entrepreneurship Week seeks to cast a wide net in its virtual programming.
GEW was started by the Global Entrepreneurship Network in 2008, and it began at Penn State a year later. Today, over 170 countries participate each year, hosting tens of thousands of events combined.
According to Elizabeth Fegert, the marketing and event coordinator for the Penn State Small Business Development Center, Penn State’s GEW typically hosts 50 or more events each year.
Fegert said the quantity of GEW events at Penn State is sought after by other participating universities.
“Every year, there’s sort of a competition of the other colleges that host GEW programming to offer more programs than Penn State,” Fegert said. “I love that all of the campuses and community members come together to provide programming to support entrepreneurs across the whole state.”
This year, Fegert said Penn State’s GEW will take place from Nov. 16 to 20. It includes virtual presentations, workshops and networking opportunities centered around a “diverse array” of topics.
She added that the Global Entrepreneurship Network creates a series of themes to guide participating organizations’ GEW events. This year’s themes — which are distributed throughout the week — are ecosystems, education, inclusion and policy.
However, the overarching goal of GEW is to bring awareness to resources for future entrepreneurs.
“I think that the concept of entrepreneurship can be really intimidating for someone to take on,” Fegert said. “We really want to break down any barriers that a person might have to entrepreneurship and help them explore the resources available to help them be successful in launching their endeavors.”
Fegert said she is excited for Martin Atkins' presentation on Nov. 18, titled “Arts and Entrepreneurship in a Time of Crisis.”
Atkins is a former punk rock drummer who performed with groups such as Nine Inch Nails, Pigface and Public Image Ltd.
Since his career in music, Atkins has taught entrepreneurial courses at several universities. Today, he is the music business coordinator at Millikin University.