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Barb Pruitt, Kauffman Foundation
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Global Entrepreneurship Week, co-founded by the Kauffman Foundation and Make Your Mark Campaign, draws worldwide support
WASHINGTON (Sept. 16, 2008) — Global Entrepreneurship Week representatives today announced that 75 countries have pledged their support and participation in the Week. This inaugural event, co-founded by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation in the United States and the United Kingdom's Make Your Mark campaign, is expected to involve tens of millions of young people around the world.
The global event, Nov. 17-23, 2008, will encourage participants to pursue entrepreneurial thinking and opportunities through activities supported by entrepreneurs, government officials, non-profit leaders and educators.
"Entrepreneurship is fundamental to the advancement of any society," said Carl Schramm, president and CEO of the Kauffman Foundation. "Our hope is that Global Entrepreneurship Week will start a ripple effect that will be felt around the world. As young people are inspired to generate new ideas and seek better ways of doing things, they will create improvements in their local economies and, therefore, in the global economy."
Organizations, ranging from large non-governmental to small community-based groups, are developing activities. The roster of participating countries and partner organizations continues to grow, including many countries with severe economic challenges, suggesting a worldwide understanding of the value of entrepreneurship.
"The list of developing nations who have elected to participate in Global Entrepreneurship Week is both astonishing and encouraging," said Jonathan Ortmans, president of Global Entrepreneurship Week. "We're seeing strong determination in unstable economies to improve themselves even while facing daily struggles of poverty, disease, corruption and personal security."
The Week is open to all those who are willing to embrace it. The activities planned, whether online or face-to-face, are limited only by the imaginations of the partners and participants. While global in scope, at its heart, Global Entrepreneurship Week is a local initiative that reflects the customs and entrepreneurial culture of each community.
Global Entrepreneurship Week will feature two signature activities. Unleash It! will be an online community that allows entrepreneurs to post challenges and links them to enterprising problem-solvers. Speednetwork the Globe will offer face-to-face networking sessions around the world that enable young people to sharpen their networking skills and talk with local entrepreneurs and leaders.
About Global Entrepreneurship Week With the goal to inspire young people to embrace innovation, imagination and creativity, Global Entrepreneurship Week will encourage youth to think big, to turn their ideas into reality, and to make their mark. From Nov. 17-23, 2008, millions of young people around the world will join a growing movement to generate new ideas and to seek better ways of doing things. Thousands of activities are being planned in more than 70 countries around the world. Global Entrepreneurship Week is: founded by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and the Make Your Mark campaign; sponsored by NYSE Euronext, IBM and Ernst & Young; and, supported by JA Worldwide, Endeavor, Entrepreneurs' Organization, DECA, YPO-WPO, National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship, Young Americas Business Trust, Lisbon Council, YES - European Confederation of Young Entrepreneurs. To view a complete list of participating countries and organizations or to learn more, visit www.unleashingideas.org.