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Excitement and participation build in United States for first-ever worldwide celebrationWASHINGTON (Oct. 29, 2008)
— As Global Entrepreneurship Week nears, Nov. 17 – 23, organizations around the world are preparing to celebrate, and the numbers of partners, activities, challenges and more continue to grow.
With more than 75 countries
participating in the Week, the United States is in the top three among countries with the most partners and activities. All 50 states
have participating organizations.
"We are pleased to see the excitement for the Week continue to rise," said Carl Schramm, president and CEO of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a founding sponsor of the Week. "It's amazing to watch countries across the globe participating in this first-ever celebration and see their dedication to engaging young people in entrepreneurship."
Partners continue to sign up everyday with 1,148 partners – and counting
– supporting Global Entrepreneurship Week in the United States. Partners include JA Worldwide, Endeavor, Entrepreneurs' Organization, DECA, YPO-WPO and National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship.
As part of the growing list of partners, more than 270 universities and colleges
are engaging students and celebrating entrepreneurship at their schools.
"Learning about entrepreneurship and innovative thinking is critical for students, especially in college," said Bo Fishback, vice president of entrepreneurship at the Kauffman Foundation. "It's important that young people recognize the value entrepreneurship provides to their futures, to their communities, and to our economy and society."
Innovation and entrepreneurship are a crucial part of the U.S. economy. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce and Bureau of the Census, an estimated 23 million U.S. small businesses represent 99 percent of all employer firms and generate up to 80 percent of net new jobs annually.
To date, partners are planning more than 500 activities
in the United States and will educate and inspire people at every age. From an "Entrepreneur and the Family Business" event in Boston to an "Entrepreneur Investor Pitch Competition" in Honolulu, it's projected that thousands of Americans will join millions
around the world in participating in activities. To get details about all of the events and activities, visit www.entrepreneurshipweekusa.com
Global Entrepreneurship Week sponsors have planned several signature events
. These include the much-anticipated Race to BE
– a Global Entrepreneurship Week/USA event, hosted by Russell Simmons, which will encourage young people to leverage their artistic abilities in three industries
– film, music and fashion – into entrepreneurial endeavors in three cities
: Los Angeles, Austin and New York.
Unleash It! is a virtual activity that invites anyone to post a challenge or solution. To date, more than 3,240
people have signed on to participate in this signature activity, and 34 challenges
have been posted. The challenges are available for viewing at www.unleashingideas.org/unleash
With so many partners and activities, there is a strong support group for Global Entrepreneurship Week. It starts with the two founding partners
– Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation in the United States and Make Your Mark in the United Kingdom. Three global sponsors
– NYSE Euronext, IBM and Ernst & Young – are finalizing details for their events. They include The New York Stock Exchange's Mentoring Madness
at 10 a.m., Friday, Nov. 21. It will feature Russell Simmons and other successful entrepreneurs discussing how they got their start and what challenges they faced, and advising the next generation of entrepreneurs. Alexis Glick from Fox News will moderate the discussions, and students in the audience will have an opportunity to ask the entrepreneurs questions.
The IBM team is designating Wednesday, Nov. 19, as Global Women Entrepreneurship Day
. IBM will host two global Web casts with an outstanding panel of women business leaders and owners. The panel moderator will be Marilyn Johnson, IBM vice president of market development. Each Web cast will last about 75 minutes.
To learn more about what's happening during Global Entrepreneurship Week in the United States and across the globe, please visit www.unleashingideas.org
###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 75 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, YES - European Confederation of Young Entrepreneurs. To view a complete list of participating countries and organizations or to learn more, visit www.unleashingideas.org.