Countries Turn to Entrepreneurship to Solve Economic Woes

Kauffman Foundation's Global Entrepreneurship Week expands to 139 countries as thousands of partner organizations plan events and activities

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oct. 22, 2013 – As the world economy continues to work its way out of the effects of a global economic crisis, countries of all sizes are turning to entrepreneurship to help drive their recovery.

In a little less than one month, millions of people will participate in Global Entrepreneurship Week (Nov. 18 – 24) events, activities and competitions in 139 countries—the largest number of countries in the six years of the initiative.

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation launched GEW in 2008 – at the start of the economic crisis – to connect aspiring entrepreneurs and others who can help them take the next step in their entrepreneurial journey. 


"Countries around the world are embracing their entrepreneurs as significant drivers of economic activity and growth," said Jonathan Ortmans, president of Global Entrepreneurship Week and a senior fellow at the Kauffman Foundation.  "Through GEW, we are instilling an entrepreneurial mindset in millions and helping them unleash their ideas."

Hundreds, if not thousands, of new startups will square off in competitions that offer prizes of startup capital, support and services to help them grow to scale. Policymakers and researchers in dozens of countries will examine best practices in accelerating efforts to support high-growth entrepreneurship. And millions of aspiring entrepreneurs will make connections with potential collaborators and mentors through a wide range of events and activities that provide inspiration as well as practical support.

A study released last week by the Kauffman Foundation, "Getting the Bug: Is (Growth) Entrepreneurship Contagious," suggests that there is a significant link between knowing an entrepreneur and becoming one. Global Entrepreneurship Week exposes individuals to entrepreneurs and others in the startup ecosystem—encouraging them to start their own ventures, spurring increased economic activity and growth.

Countries celebrating Global Entrepreneurship Week this year for the first time include:

  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Guyana
  • Iran
  • Jamaica
  • Kosovo
  • Libya
  • Mali
  • Moldova
  • Montenegro
  • Philippines
  • Senegal
  • Myanmar
  • St. Kitts and Nevis
  • St. Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Vietnam  

Highlighted competitions include:

  • Startup Open: Startups from 24 countries have reached the finals and will now 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 are scheduled to 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 from as many as 31 countries will present their business plans to investors in an effort to secure up to €1,000,000 in startup capital.
  • 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. 

Global Entrepreneurship Week is made possible by ongoing support from the Kauffman Foundation and Dell as well as a number of supporting organizations. To view a complete list of participating countries and organizations, or to learn more about the initiative, visit www.unleashingideas.org.

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About Global Entrepreneurship Week
During one week each November, thousands of events and competitions around the world inspire millions to engage in entrepreneurial activity while connecting them to potential collaborators, mentors and even investors. In five years, Global Entrepreneurship Week has expanded to 139 countries—building and strengthening entrepreneurial ecosystems around the world. Powered by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and sponsored by Dell, the initiative is supported by dozens of world leaders and a network of roughly 10,000 partner organizations. For more information, visit www.unleashingideas.org, and follow @unleashingideas on Twitter.