In the UK, the campaign is hosted each year by Youth Business International, a global network of initiatives that help young entrepreneurs to start their own business. There are a number of informal themes that form part of the GEW legacy – Women’s Enterprise Day and Social Enterprise Day being the most high profile.
Around the world too the participation is huge. In the US, the week was endorsed by President Barack Obama, urban culture pioneer Russell Simmons and Dennis Crowley of Foursquare fame. In Poland, Namibia and Uruguay, the week kicked off in style with senior country officials opening events and championing entrepreneurship in their respective countries; a massive feat given that this campaign has only been operating globally for five years.
Global Entrepreneurship Week, or ‘GEW’ as it is lovingly called by its followers, is important to the UK economy, not only because it’s supports - entrepreneurs - but because it also encourages entrepreneurial and creative behaviour in young people.
Across the UK, students in schools, colleges and universities took part in challenges that inspired new ways of thinking and doing. For a serviced-based economy, embedding this into learning and education is a must in terms of increasing employability skills for the next generation.
I managed to get out and about to a few events but highlights have to be:
The launch – Michael Fallon, minister for business and enterprise announced plans to recruit two entrepreneurs in residence for BIS, the recruitment of 26,000 mentors all over the UK and a new entrepreneurship hub at Warwick University. [maybe add launch vid if aval]
The final of The Pitch – six entrepreneurs battled it out to be crowned ‘The Pitch Champion 2012.' The prize included £6,000 worth of hibu vouchers, 12 months mentoring with serial entrepreneur Karen Darby and creative consultancy with Studio Diva worth £3,000.
Women’s wealth event - the Center for Excellence in Women’s Entrepreneurship hosted an evening with wealth expert Hannah Foxley. Hannah’s amazing story of triumph and the realisation that she wasn’t financially prepared for her future left many in the room thinking about their own financial wellbeing.
All in all we thought it was a great week and one that keeps getting better with age. Looking forward to 2013.
GEW 2012 coverage