From an explosion in social media conversation, to recognition and support from government leaders, Global Entrepreneurship Week 2015 celebrated and inspired roughly 10 million people worldwide. While a majority of those were aspiring entrepreneurs and others exploring their potential to start a new venture, it also included policymakers, investors, researchers and successful serial entrepreneurs.
U.S. President Barack Obama recognized GEW in a video announcement about the 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Summit, which will be held in Silicon Valley. President Obama issued a challenge to help entrepreneurs and to continue fanning the spark of innovation. Other world leaders joined in as well, including Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto, new Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well as more than 100 ministers from around the globe.
The social media tag, #GEW2015, became a trending topic on Twitter, used by GEW participants and hosts, as well as renowned entrepreneurs and businesses involved in the celebration. Entrepreneur Richard Branson supported GEW on social media, and gave advice on starting a business. Virgin Group released a series of posts about startups, business plans and entrepreneurship during GEW. Posts on their GEW site included a special GEW business plan template and a list of the organization’s favorite events. Evernote also released a series of podcast conversations with entrepreneurs. Other large brands to join the social discussion included Barclays, TomTom, Microsoft, Bank of America, Shell, Goldman Sachs and Amway – and more global brands will come to light soon.
Local and national media outlets covered entrepreneurship events worldwide – including CNBC coverage of the top 20 hottest startups, which features a selection of our GEW 50, and the state of the startup ecosystem. There were also articles and commentary in Forbes, the Huffington Post and the HuffPost Tech UK, as well as Entrepreneur Magazine, and Inc., to name a few.
To help encourage and guide policy discussions throughout GEW, the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) and the GEDI Institute released the 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Index, which provides information on the health of entrepreneurial ecosystems in 132 countries.
Investors got involved in GEW 2015 from the outset. GEW Israel opened the week by ringing the opening bell of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. Meanwhile, business angels in Europe, Africa and the Middle East alone organized 251 events in 27 countries throughout the course of the week. GEN partnered with AlliedCrowds to release a special report on crowdfunding for GEW.
Continuing the policy focus, the Global Entrepreneurship Network honored three outstanding leaders in local, national and groundbreaking policy innovation at the Startup Nations Summit in Monterrey, Mexico. Perhaps more importantly, Startup Nations members from more than 60 countries shared their experiences with effective policies and programs that are spurring new firm formation.
GEN also recently announced the launch of a new online platform to unleash ideas and power startup competitions around the world at STARTUPCOMPETE.CO. Speaking of competitions, finalists from Startup Open, Creative Business Cup, Get in the Ring and the Future Agro Challenge squared off this week for potential investment, mentoring and other valuable prizes.
With approximately 30,000 events in 160 countries, the above highlights barely scrape the surface of the amazing work countries and partners have accomplished during Global Entrepreneurship Week. Please share your stories, successes, challenges and wonderful GEW moments, as well as photos from your events. We want to hear from you.
And if you were inspired during Global Entrepreneurship Week, and would like to keep the entrepreneurial momentum going and meet the individuals and organizations championing entrepreneurship from 160 countries, register now for the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Medellin, Colombia, in March 2016.
Photo credit: GEW Belgium