November 16, 2011
This week is Global Entrepreneurship Week, celebrated worldwide from the United States to Romania, India, and Ethiopia. Designed to promote entrepreneurship, the week includes events like Startup Weekends, networking meetups, and demos. Mark Marich, VP Communications of Global Entrepreneurship Week, had this to say about the past, present, and future of the initiative.
Tech Cocktail: How is this year’s Global Entrepreneurship Week different from previous years’?
Marich: Now in its fourth year, Global Entrepreneurship Week continues to grow and is now celebrated in 123 countries. But perhaps more importantly, it is growing deeper in each country as well. In addition to the traditional stakeholder dedicated to promoting entrepreneurial growth, GEW is reaching more and more in the startup space – incubators, accelerators, and initiatives that are on the front-lines helping launch new firms.
Tech Cocktail: What did you learn from last year’s Global Entrepreneurship Week?
Marich: Each year, it becomes more obvious that policymakers and world leaders are looking to reinvigorate their economies by focusing on ways to stimulate new firm formation – and for them that means creating a policy and regulatory environment that is conducive to entrepreneurship. Governments don’t actually launch startups, but they can certainly have an impact on how easy it is. This year, we are seeing even more support from world leaders and economic ministers who are using Global Entrepreneurship Week as a chance to reach out and cultivate the entrepreneurial ecosystems in their countries.
Tech Cocktail: What industries are entrepreneurs focusing on at Global Entrepreneurship Week events?
Marich: Given that there are 40,000 events, activities, and competitions happening around the world during Global Entrepreneurship Week – and nearly 4,000 in the US alone – it really does cover a wide range of topics and industries, and many events are sort of industry-agnostic. As a result, we see some themes or verticals emerging around everything from cleantech to fashion and education to entertainment.
Tech Cocktail: How are entrepreneurs different across the world?
Marich: I think we are finding that entrepreneurs really aren’t that different across the world. Take a look at Startup Weekend – intense 54-hour events that reach into local ecosystems and move entrepreneurs from ideas to launch. There are 60 cities around the world hosting Startup Weekend events during Global Entrepreneurship Week. Keep an eye on those events, who is there, and what firms emerge and you will see that they have more in common with each other than they do with their government leaders or others in their immediate communities.
Tech Cocktail: What are your plans for the future of Global Entrepreneurship Week?
Marich: That’s simple. Keep doing what we’re doing until every country celebrates Global Entrepreneurship Week and we reach hundreds of millions of people around the world – and then do it some more.
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