Like most—if not all—new ventures, Global Entrepreneurship Week started with an idea. What if there were a global movement to inspire people everywhere to embrace entrepreneurship?
Representatives from 37 countries were on hand when GEW was launched in 2007 by Carl Schramm, president and CEO of the Kauffman Foundation, and Gordon Brown, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Included in those 37 countries were the first 18 Host organizations to commit their countries to the campaign, from:
By November 2008, Host organizations in 77 countries had officially signed on—and 3 million people participated in 25,022 events and activities. In three short years, the movement reached 104 countries—under the guidance and direction of the Public Forum Institute in Washington, DC, and Enterprise UK in London with financial support from the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
Since launching in 2008 and GEW has expanded to more than 160 countries—empowering a combined 33 million participants through 140,000 activities.
Global Entrepreneurship Week continues to attract and engage high-profile entrepreneurs who are enthusiastic to share their personal experiences and insights—including Richard Branson, Michael Dell, Russell Simmons, Muhammad Yunus, Mark Cuban and others. Meanwhile, world leaders on each continent and local elected officials alike have embraced the campaign—through proclamations as well as participation—as they look to fuel the economic engine of high-growth startups in their own countries and communities.
But GEW is more than just an awareness campaign supported by world leaders and celebrity entrepreneurs. It is about unleashing ideas and doing what it takes to bring them to life—spotting opportunities, taking risks, solving problems, being creative, building connections and learning from both failure and success. It is about thinking big and making your mark on the world—doing good while doing well at the same time.