GEN announces GEW 2018 themes

Its less than 100 days until the 11th Global Entrepreneurship Week kicks off. The Global Entrepreneurship Network is announcing four themes for this year’s GEW 2018 celebration, recognizing women, youth and inclusion in entrepreneurship, as well as connecting ecosystems around the world.

During Global Entrepreneurship Week, which will be held November 12-18, hosts and organizers across 170 countries will mobilize their partners and communities to join the celebration. Each year, nearly 10 million people participate in 39,000 events over the course of the week.

GEW WOMEN
As communities and countries increasingly encourage entrepreneurs who create jobs, women can be a catalyst for large-scale economic growth – not just in countries where the basic rights of women are a struggle, but in developed economies as well. Studies have shown that women have lower levels of involvement in high-growth entrepreneurship than men, and research suggests that accelerating the rates of female entrepreneurship could have the same positive effect that the entry of women into the labor force had during the 20th century.

GEW Women celebrates female entrepreneurs, ecosystem builders, investors and other startup champions, while offering opportunities to expand their networks, identify resources and share knowledge with other women around the world.

GEW YOUTH
As stronger entrepreneurship ecosystems emerge, young graduates unable to secure a job have more opportunities to leverage their economic freedom and create a job. As they choose to start and scale new businesses, they not only change their lives but also contribute to their communities and countries through job creation and economic renewal.

GEW Youth celebrates and shapes the next generation of innovators through activities and competitions to help them sharpen their skills and connect them to potential co-founders, mentors and even investors. This theme also celebrates and raises awareness of the importance of entrepreneurship education and the teaching of innovative skills.

GEW INCLUSION
Entrepreneurship is a positive force that drives innovation, creates wealth and improves lives in communities, cities and countries alike. But not everyone has the same opportunity. Race, age, gender, or where one lives should not be an obstacle to entrepreneurship. Anyone, anywhere should be able to realize their dream and start a business quickly, inexpensively, and without barriers.

GEW Inclusion will highlight the work startup champions are doing around the world to minimize barriers and obstacles for entrepreneurs by maximizing inclusion. Activities, workshops and speaker series held around the world will explore the obstacles entrepreneurs from underserved populations may face, and discovering solutions through access to success stories, training, capital and mentorship.

GEW ECOSYSTEM CONNECT
The Global Entrepreneurship Network and other entrepreneurship support organizations around the world are looking beyond Silicon Valley to facilitate collaboration and partnership between startup ecosystems in promising mid-tier cities. Sharing knowledge and connecting local ecosystem leaders has become increasingly important in building healthy and thriving entrepreneurial communities.

GEW Ecosystem Connect aims to inspire communities to collaborate, and share their networks and markets to help their rising startups thrive. This theme celebrates the shared challenges and triumphs of entrepreneurship communities and hubs around the world.

You can follow the conversations online by using the official Global Entrepreneurship Week hashtag — #GEW2018 – as well as by using the individual theme tags: #GEWwomen, #GEWyouth, #GEWinclusion and #EcosystemConnect.

GEW Germany changing mindset around social entrepreneurship

Germany has been celebrating Global Entrepreneurship Week since its inception in 2008. Known as “Gründerwoche Deutschland,” GEW Germany has grown from about 12,000 participants and 120 events in 2008 to nearly 100,000 participants and 2,000 events in 2018.

Now GEN Germany is using the expansive network GEW Germany has developed over the last 10 years to change the mindset and perceptions around social entrepreneurship. The hope is that this year’s GEW will help address some of the challenges social entrepreneurs, in particular, face in Germany.

According to Birgitta Ratazzi-Förster, Gründerwoche Deutschland coordinator at the RKW Competence Centre, GEW Germany has helped engage ecosystem actors, entrepreneurs, investors and most importantly the government.

“All these activities help to encourage, to empower and support the next generation of entrepreneurs in Germany,” said Ratazzi-Förster.

The shift in mindset driven by GEW also coincides with another mindset shift – one that started five years prior to the start of GEW in 2003, focused on the perception of social entrepreneurship.

Before the early 2000’s, most social organizations in Germany were considered part of the welfare sector, explained Sébastien Martin from the Impact Collective – an acceleration program for early-stage social startups. Martin said this was due to the financing structure for these types of companies, which involved funds from the German government.

But in the early years of the decade, this perception started to change.

“Since 2003, the new term ‘social entrepreneurship’ arose,” said Martin. “Compared to a welfare-driven approach, social entrepreneurs have a wider approach and can comprise a large variety of challenges.”

Martin said rather than welfare challenges, most social entrepreneurs now focus on a broader range of issues such as climate change, regional development, special support for minorities and education.

Social entrepreneurship has gained so much momentum in the last 15 years, that in 2017 the Social Entrepreneurship Netzwerk Deutschland, or SEND, was founded to centralize support for social entrepreneurs. And this year, the German government added social entrepreneurship to its political agenda.

But Martin said social entrepreneurs still face many challenges in Germany – particularly around mindset. According to Martin, most people view social entrepreneurship as a hobby or side project.

This is where GEW Germany is leveraging its platform to bring more attention to social entrepreneurship and drive a change in German perception. GEW Germany is adopting social entrepreneurship as one of its themes in 2018 In order to raise awareness and drive a conversation about mindset.

“Gründerwoche Deutschland, with its wide-spread partner network [and] well known national campaign for promotion of entrepreneurship is a suitable platform to inform people about the state of the art of social entrepreneurship in Germany, and to motivate and inspire for the opportunities of starting up a social enterprise,” said Ratazzi-Förster.

By engaging its network of dedicated ecosystem players already active through GEW, Ratazzi-Förster is hoping to bolster the support for social entrepreneurs in Germany.

In particular, GEW Germany wants to promote a new mindset that views social entrepreneurs as legitimate and necessary. The ultimate goal is to help social entrepreneurs acquire long-term support, access to early-stage funding and connect with a qualified workforce.

GEW Germany and its partners are celebrating entrepreneurship this November 12 – 18. Along with social entrepreneurship activities, GEW Germany is hosting several different events throughout the week, and across the country, that touch on many different aspects of entrepreneurship.

You can learn more about GEW Germany and what it has planned for its celebration this year by clicking here.

Pitch with Purpose

Collaboration can create exciting things. GEN and Alice, along with partners Johnson & Johnson and Dell, are looking to provide an opportunity for entrepreneurs committed to social good to pitch for $15,000 USD, a Dell computer, scholarship entry to Circular Summit 2019, mentorship and more. The pitch competition is Pitch with Purpose, and applications are due by July 31, 2018, with winners announced in mid-September. Apply for Pitch with Purpose here.

Startup Genome, GEN Launch the Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2018

What technology sub-sectors hold the most promise for economic growth? How much local networking should startup founders do in their ecosystem? Do women and men differ in their entrepreneurial mindset at different points in the startup journey? Which ecosystems are leading the way in Fintech? Answers to these questions, and countless other insights, are in the new Global Startup Ecosystem Report (GSER) 2018, released last week at the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Istanbul.

Produced in partnership between Startup Genome and the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN), the GSER informs public and private decision makers all over the world about what actions they can take to build vibrant startup ecosystems. This year’s report analyzes key technology sub-sectors—such Artificial Intelligence and Edtech—across 45 different ecosystems, and looks at how local connections affect company performance and what makes up an entrepreneurial mindset.

“We’ve entered the Third Wave of innovation—the  global startup community is disrupting industries by combining technology with deep industry expertise. This creates a game-changing opportunity for smaller, less mature startup ecosystems that can now build out competitive advantage at a global level by focusing on their DNA and legacy strengths,” says JF Gauthier, CEO and cofounder of Startup Genome.

Every year, the Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC) brings together thousands of entrepreneurs, investors, researchers, policymakers and others from more than 170 countries to identify new ways of helping founders start and scale new ventures. The new GSER, with analysis based on the voices of over 10,000 founders and data from Crunchbase and Orb Intelligence, will enhance the lessons and insights shared at GEC.

“Research in the field is vital to shaping the interventions necessary to empower entrepreneurs around the world,” said Jonathan Ortmans, president of the Global Entrepreneurship Network. “As thousands of startup champions gather this week to explore innovative approaches, efforts such as the Global Startup Ecosystem Report help us become better informed about what is needed.”

Find out how 45 ecosystems across 24 countries around the world stack up in the face of this new wave. Download the full report here: www.startupgenome.com/report2018.

Startups prepare to pitch in front of a global audience at Startup Turkey

Top startups will meet world class mentors, investors, companies and media in Startup Turkey on April 15 and 16 as part of the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Istanbul. The most promising startups will be selected to join a demo day and will get an opportunity to pitch on stage. Specially invited investors, VCs, accelerators and tech company executives will be there to meet the outstanding startups. More at http://www.startupturkey.com

Advancing entrepreneurship to be big talking point at upcoming GEC

The 10th anniversary of the Global Entrepreneurship Congress will soon bring thousands of entrepreneurs, investors, policymakers, researchers and entrepreneurship support organizations to a global startup hub – featuring in-depth sessions and workshops on the latest developments in entrepreneurship from around the world.
GEC 2018, held April 16-19 in Istanbul, Turkey, will take a look at the intersection of mindset, culture and barriers that exist within all entrepreneurship ecosystems. From exponential thinking – exploring how entrepreneurship moves from incremental to truly disruptive innovation – to innovation culture and inclusive entrepreneurship, the Global Entrepreneurship Congress features sessions on leading-edge topics within the space.

The four-day conference begins with the GEN Global Assembly – which connects the GEN global communities while exploring innovative approaches to empowering entrepreneurs and ecosystem builders, as well as look at new projects the network has in the pipeline. The Global Assembly will be held on Monday, April 16 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with additional sessions on Thursday.

The two largest days feature plenary sessions spotlighting a global collection of entrepreneurs, investors and ecosystem supporters amplified by an impressive collection of 128 parallel sessions — 64 each on Tuesday and Wednesday — covering a wide range of topics, including tracks dedicated to: Empowering Emerging Ecosystems; Global Challenges; Entrepreneurial Learning; Scaling Up; Mobilizing Capital; Women’s Entrepreneurship; Industry Disruption; Corporate Engagement; Fintech Innovations; Digital Economy; Lifestyle Innovations; and Social Entrepreneurship.

Countdown to Istanbul

Every year, the Global Entrepreneurship Congress gathers together thousands of entrepreneurs, investors, researchers, policymakers and other startup champions from more than 170 countries to identify new ways of helping founders start and scale new ventures around the world. At the weeklong GEC, delegates make connections, gain insights, learn about new research, and leave ready to renew their programs, policy ideas or firm founder skills. GEC 2018 takes place in Istanbul, Turkey — a thriving startup hub that is both an economic and cultural cornerstone of Europe and Asia. You can now register for the 2018 Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Istanbul, Turkey. Registration is EUR 99.

United nations of entrepreneurship

Delegates from 173 different countries gathered at the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Johannesburg – a budding startup hub that is both an economic and cultural cornerstone of South Africa – and attended in-depth masterclasses and relevant discussions to foster entrepreneurs to start and scale new businesses.

In its ninth year, more than 8,400 people from around the world registered for the Congress, co-hosted by the Global Entrepreneurship Network, the Kauffman Foundation, SEA Africa and the City of Johannesburg. Other partners included the Industrial Development Corporation, South Africa’s Department of Small Business Development and the Gauteng Province, as well as companies including ABSA, Transnet, Hollard, SAB, Telkom, Microsoft and Johnson and Johnson.

During the four-day long Congress, delegates had the opportunity to make connections, learn about new research, and take home the latest information to renew their programs, facilitate policy discussions and mobilize their entrepreneurial community.

Beyond the sessions and discussions, the GEC 2017 left an additional impact on the country and continent, with the launch of the regional GEN affiliate, GEN Africa, and the reaffirmation of GEN South Africa – led by Managing Director Kizito Okechukwu. The Congress brought delegates from around the world to Africa, and GEN Africa will work to innovate and unite the continent’s entrepreneurial ecosystem – bringing Africa to the world.

As well as the emergence of GEN Africa, world government leaders in entrepreneurship, small businesses and innovation, gathered at the GEC for the third Global SME Ministerial. Led by the U.S. Small Business Administration and the South African Ministry of Small Business Development, ministers and policy leaders participated in a dialogue to share best practices, find collaborative solutions and to create a path for promoting entrepreneurship in any economy and community around the world.

The 2017 Congress also included a new, customized track for global investment organizations, as well as for entrepreneurs and startup founders. The customized sessions focused on issues such cross-border investing and the entrepreneur program covered relevant challenges and success stories from global entrepreneurs.

Other highlights from the Congress included pitch corners for entrepreneurs and organizations to pitch their idea on a global stage, entrepreneurship workshops, and in-depth, high-impact sessions that covered many topics, including:

  • Digital disruption in a changing economy;
  • Analyzing entrepreneurial mindset in South Africa, and creating a replicable study;
  • Enhancing early stage investment;
  • Catalyzing startup communities;
  • Intersection of public and corporate partnerships to enable entrepreneurial growth in communities; and more.

The global discussion will continue in Istanbul, Turkey, for the 2018 Global Entrepreneurship Congress. It will be held April 16 – 19, 2018.

1millionstartups launches at GEC 2017

1millionstartups was launched at the 2017 Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Johannesburg, South Africa. 1millionstartups is the first worldwide campaign and community dedicated to promoting the entrepreneurial spirit and the startup world while raising the awareness about the importance of startups in today‘s social & economic development, as well as inspiring new founders and business angels to create the startups we need. Founded by EBAN Board Member and Austrian Angel Investors Association Co-founder Selma Prodanovic, 1millionstartups is focused on growing a community of 1 million members inspired to impact the world through their own action, through entrepreneurship – a movement based on solutions.  In their over 25 years of experience & research, the 1millionstartups team identified the three most crucial issues for entrepreneurs to develop successfully:

1) “I know I can” or access to role-models and inspiration

2) “I know how” or access to know-how and experience exchange,

3) “I know where” or access to capital and other resources.

They aim to tackle all three problems and provide global solutions by giving startups an easily accessible platform to start with: the world’s leading startup gallery. The 1millionstartups gallery provides immediate global visibility and it already features startups from every corner of the world.

The initiative also strongly supports the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 1millionstartups was selected and presented at the UN Communication Group Meeting in Vienna as best practice example how business can contribute to innovation and achieving the SDGs. They aim to invest €100million in their members by 2025.

All startups solving a global challenge are invited to join 1millionstartups and benefit from increased visibility with investors and other ecosystem stakeholders.

Entrepreneurs go to Africa

Next month, the Global Entrepreneurship Congress will gather together thousands of entrepreneurs, investors, researchers, policymakers and other startup champions from more than 160 countries to identify new ways of helping founders start and scale new ventures around the world. At the weeklong GEC, delegates will make connections, gain insights, learn about new research, and leave ready to renew their programs, policy ideas or firm up founder skills.

GEC 2017 will take place at the heart of South Africa, in Johannesburg — a budding startup hub that is both an economic and cultural cornerstone of the country — which promises to build on the successes of previous years.

The GEC is an open, four-day conference that gathers all elements of the global entrepreneurial ecosystem. At the core of the Congress is a mix of large-scale plenary sessions for thousands of delegates and more intimate and in-depth parallel sessions conducted by leading global organizations helping entrepreneurs start and scale new businesses.

 

The GEC will take place March 13-16. Details at http://gec.co