Global Entrepreneurship Week Opens in 150 Countries

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Events range from pitch competitions to policy roundtables with millions participating over next seven days

Global Entrepreneurship Week is a shot of adrenaline at one point in the year, but it has led to the creation of a year-round platform that is creating one global entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) officially opens today in 150 countries with millions of people—from young students to nascent entrepreneurs to government leaders—taking part in a wide range of events, activities and competitions throughout the week.

The initiative is now in its seventh year and continues to expand its reach since it began in 2008, founded by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, with 77 countries. GEW runs from Nov. 17-23.

“Global Entrepreneurship Week is a shot of adrenaline at one point in the year,” said Jonathan Ortmans, president of Global Entrepreneurship Week. “But it has led to the creation of a year-round platform that is creating one global entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

The week opens with a new Global Entrepreneurship Index that measures the entrepreneurial ecosystems in 130 countries. Policy-driven events featuring discussions about the Index findings and how they can be used to advance entrepreneurial growth are being held in Athens, Cairo, Frankfurt, Gaborone, Jakarta, London, Lusaka, Nicosia, Prague, Riyadh, Sofia and more.

Meanwhile, a number of global competitions are identifying some of the most promising startups around the world while other events aim to reach students and others to inspire them while connecting them to potential collaborators, mentors and investors.

Highlights for the week include:

Startup Open
Founders and founder teams from 38 countries submitted more than 600 startups for a shot at the grand prize of an all expenses paid trip to Milan, Italy for the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in March 2015. The winner will be announced on Tuesday.

Global Entrepreneurship Summit
Organized by the U.S. Government and the Kingdom of Morocco, the summit in Marrakech features U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and Mohamed Boussaid, Minister of Economy and Finance of Morocco.

World Series of Innovation
High school and college students from the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship form small teams to compete in a series of innovation challenges that include game development, geolocation apps, school improvement, business growth and more.

Get in the Ring
Regional winners from Eastern Europe and Western Europe will be announced today, joining global finalists from Africa, Asia, Middle East, North America, South America and Southern Europe to pitch angel investors from a boxing ring in Rotterdam, Netherlands, for a prize package worth 25,000 euros and a chance at up to 1 million euros in investment.

Creative Business Cup
Entrepreneurs from the creative industries--including art, entertainment and design —in 50 countries compete starting today in Copenhagen, Denmark, in the global finals while receiving training and support through one-on-one sessions, investor matchmaking and more.

VC4Africa Meetups
More than 1000 people have signed up to participate in Africa’s largest startup event with networking meetups in roughly 40 cities—reaching African entrepreneurs on the continent as well as those spread around the world.

Startup Nations Summit
Startup community leaders and policymakers from 40 countries gather in Seoul, Korea, to explore effective policies and programs to support entrepreneurs while tech startups compete for $100,000 in cash prizes.

Winners of these competitions and other highlights will be released throughout the week at gew.co and on Twitter at #GEW2014.

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Mark Marich
Global Entrepreneurship Week
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