In case you didn’t know, we’re big fans of Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) here at SourceLink. Because entrepreneurship creates jobs—and many of the new jobs in entrepreneurial economies come from firms less than five years old.
And that’s what makes GEW more than just a celebration of innovators and their ideas—it’s a recognition and reminder of the work we need to do to build our entrepreneurial infrastructures and create awareness of the importance of entrepreneurship to our local economies.
Some history: GEW was originally launched in 2008 by former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Carl Schramm, former president and CEO of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Since then, it has spanned the globe, with nearly 24,000 partner organizations planning more than 37,000 activities that directly engage more than 10 million people.
This year, between November 14–20, 2016, millions of entrepreneurs will gather for more than 35,000 events worldwide, including workshops, networking, seminars and all things entrepreneurship in more than 160 countries. Entrepreneurs meet with like-minded individuals to make connections, help move their businesses forward, or oftentimes, discover entrepreneurship for the first time.
Global exposure, local impact
So why is this celebration of entrepreneurship so important? Because entrepreneurship drives local economies. GEW is a celebration, sure, but it’s also a way to stimulate and support entrepreneurship and the ecosystem it needs to thrive.
New businesses account for nearly 20 percent of gross job creation. Entrepreneurship has declined through the years (declining by nearly 2 million between 2005 and 2010). Supporting our entrepreneurs on a local, national and global level spurs business creation and scaling leading to crucial job growth. GEW is another way of building and supporting a sustainable and strong entrepreneurial infrastructure in your community.
And above all, entrepreneurship allows people to live their lives how they want: stretching creativity, pursuing a life of knowledge, living an unconventional life and changing the world. Entrepreneurship is the key that opens the door of opportunity for the millions of risk takers and doers across the world.
The beauty of GEW is that you can use its global buzz to make an impact on your local entrepreneurial ecosystem at the same time.
Here’s how just a few of SourceLink affiliate communities are gearing up for GEW.
In Albuquerque, the Molino Project is launching The Resource Navigator® alongside an impressive list of GEW events—all to build awareness of resources and connect entrepreneurs to the help they need.
In Puerto Rico, Colmena66 will launch its network of resource organizations, introducing both potential partners and Puerto Rican entrepreneurs to the entrepreneurial network along with a progress report on the state of Puerto Rican entrepreneurship.
In Kansas City, KCSourceLink has collaborated with several resource organizations to host a full slate—some 80+ events—to connect, empower, inspire and celebrate its entrepreneurs.
In Iowa, IASourceLink and the Iowa Rural Development Council (RDC) are hosting the first Iowa Rural Development Summit. This unique event brings together 75 rural Iowa communities under 20,000 in population for a day-long strategic planning session as the first step in building a holistic vision for growth and prosperity. The keynote and session facilitator will be Don Macke, co-founder and director of entrepreneurial communities at the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship in Lincoln, Nebraska.
How are you supporting your entrepreneurs locally during GEW 2016?
Ready to take the next step to connect and empower your entrepreneurs?
Need help connecting entrepreneurs to during GEW (or Startup Week or Techweek or National Small Business Week)? Contact us—we’re here to help you identify resources, connect and empower entrepreneurs and measure your efforts.