Global Entrepreneurship Week Bringing Together Uncommon Allies

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United Nations, Kauffman Foundation part of diverse group of global partners working toward common goal of increasing entrepreneurial growth in 135 countries

Like the UN, GEW's goal is to foster entrepreneurship worldwide as a tool for development.

Today the United Nations is taking a key step in promoting entrepreneurship as a centerpiece of economic growth and stability around the world. Following through on a mandate from its Entrepreneurship for Development resolution, the UN General Assembly convenes in New York a diverse group of experts to examine how to create environments that help entrepreneurs launch and grow startups that eradicate poverty, generate wealth and improve lives.

The objectives outlined in the UN resolution align closely with those of Global Entrepreneurship Week, the world’s largest celebration of entrepreneurship that will be held this Nov. 18-24 for the sixth consecutive year. GEW is an initiative founded by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation in 2008 that connects people to help them take the next step in their entrepreneurial journey.

Thom Ruhe, vice president for entrepreneurship at the Kauffman Foundation, will speak at the Assembly today about the importance of entrepreneurship education (streaming live at 3:00 p.m. – 4:25 p.m. EDT).

“Like the UN, GEW’s goal is to foster entrepreneurship worldwide as a tool for development,” Ruhe said. “It is an honor to bring Kauffman’s research and expertise in entrepreneurship education to the Assembly’s discussion today. Education is, indeed, the first step toward empowering the citizens of the world through entrepreneurship.”

The resolution encourages all UN-related bodies to “recognize and integrate entrepreneurship in its various forms into their policies, programmes and reports, and to support national efforts in this regard.” The United Nations Conference for Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) have embraced the charge by getting actively involved in GEW and organizing events to examine public policies important to growth.

The UN and ILO are just two of 9,000 partner organizations worldwide that hold events, activities and competitions during GEW each November to expand and strengthen their entrepreneurial ecosystems.

Entrepreneur-driven communities like Startup Weekend, Endeavor and Entrepreneurs’ Organization plan and host activities to help startups launch and grow. Universities like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Cambridge hold events to educate students while strengthening connections with the private sector that help them commercialize research from their labs. Youth-focused groups like Youth Business International and Junior Achievement take a lead role in organizing national campaigns in more than 20 countries. Major corporate brands, like Dell, sponsor the global initiative or get involved at the national or local level like Virgin, IBM, Ernst & Young and others.

National campaigns in 135 countries will attract roughly 10 million participants this November. Anticipated highlights for GEW 2013 include:

  • Startup Open: Startups launched since GEW 2012, from more than 60 countries, compete for a free trip to the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Moscow and mentoring prizes with experienced entrepreneurs.
  • Global Startup Battle: Founder teams in 200 cities go through intense 54-hour Startup Weekend boot camps to create their own startup and compete against one another in a virtual Global Startup Battle.
  • Get in the Ring: Debuting in the United States this year and hosted in the Netherlands, entrepreneurs present their business plans to investors in an effort to secure up to €1,000,000 in startup capital.
  • GEW Policy Survey: The GEW Policy Survey assesses the public policies most essential to encouraging startups to launch and scale. Survey results will guide the development of a number of policy summits in participating countries.
  • Creative Business Cup: New and revolutionary business ideas with strong market potential in the creative industries from more than 25 countries square off in the global finals in Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • StartUp Cup: StartUp Cup is a global network of locally driven business model competitions where participants learn how to design a viable business model, develop customers, test their assumptions and grow their business revenue.
  • Cleantech Open Global Ideas Competition: Finalists from more than 20 countries unveil potential breakthrough cleantech ideas in one of six industry categories: air water and waste, energy efficiency, renewable energy, green building, smart power and transportation.
  • Global Student Entrepreneur Awards: Students who own and run businesses while attending a high school, college or university battle for the title of Global Student Entrepreneur of the Year and their share of more than $150,000 in business support services.
  • DECA Ideas Challenge: Teams of K-12 and college students devise innovative new uses for a common everyday object and try to maximize value created in only eight days.

To view a complete list of participating countries and supporting organizations, or to learn more about Global Entrepreneurship Week, visit

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Rose Levy
Goldin Solutions
212-319-3451 Ext: 641
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Barb Pruitt
Kauffman Foundation
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