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GEW 2011 to Inspire Millions

May 11, 2011

1,300 partners in the U.S. join 35,000 organizations in more than 100 countries to create transformative experiences for the next generation of innovators Nov. 14-20

This fall, Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) aims to touch more current and aspiring entrepreneurs around the globe than any event, ever. Thousands of activities in more than 100 countries will teach the power of entrepreneurship by showcasing creativity and innovative thinking. GEW 2011 will be held November 14 – 20, spurring new ideas, ingenuity and firm creation through local, national and global activities.

An initiative of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, GEW will connect people through activities designed to help them explore their potential as self-starters. Students, educators, entrepreneurs, business leaders, employees, non-profit leaders, government officials and others will participate in wide-ranging activities that include virtual and face-to-face events, large-scale competitions and intimate networking gatherings.

“Global Entrepreneurship Week has grown into a worldwide movement that educates millions about entrepreneurship and the personal and professional fulfillment of starting your own enterprise,” said Carl Schramm, president and CEO of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. “We encourage everyone to take part in a Global Entrepreneurship Week activity to promote innovation, creativity, job creation and economic growth.”

Global Entrepreneurship Week 2011 in the U.S.

In the U.S. last year, 1,313 partners hosted 3,286 activities with 445,896 participants. This November, all 50 states are expected to be represented again as plans for local activities continue to unfold in colleges, high schools, government agencies, entrepreneurial support organizations and communities everywhere. While each participating organization is encouraged to create its own unique event, GEW offers four featured activities that aspiring and existing entrepreneurs alike can participate in:

  • Startup Open: Startup Open recognizes promising new startups around the world in a global competition that is open to any entrepreneur who has just started, or is about to start, a new venture. The 50 most promising startups from around the world will be recognized as “The GEW 50,” based on a range of criteria including strength of concept, growth projections and knowledge of the market. Those 50 companies will compete for a handful of prizes, with the winners announced during GEW 2011. For more information, visit www.unleashingideas.org/open
  • Cleantech Open Global Ideas Competition: The Cleantech Open Global Ideas Competition seeks to find the best clean technology ideas from around the world – from revolutionary ways to generate clean energy, to better ways to filter water, to ideas about how governmental policies around climate change can foster new businesses, all new concepts are welcome. Finalists will deliver a five-minute pitch to an audience that includes 2,500 investors and entrepreneurs with a chance at winning $100,000 in support and services to help turn their idea into a business. For more information, visit www.unleashingideas.org/cleantech.
  • Your Big Year: Your Big Year offers two winners a free, year-long trip around the world, giving them the opportunity to explore different countries while meeting leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs. The competition is designed to encourage global citizenship while honing innovation and leadership skills – essential to entrepreneurial development.  In 2010, more than 44,000 contestants completed a series of online challenges before 24 finalists were flown to Liverpool, England to compete during Global Entrepreneurship Week.  All 2011 participants must register before Sept. 1 and be over the age of 18. For more information, please visit www.unleashingideas.org/yourbigyear.
  • Startup Weekend: Startup Weekend brings developers, marketers, product managers and startup enthusiasts together for 54 hours to share ideas and launch new startups. Beginning with open pitches on Friday, attendees in dozens of cities will hone in on the most promising concepts with teams focusing on customer development, idea validation and creating a viable product. By Sunday evening, teams demo their prototypes and receive valuable feedback from a panel of experts –  competing for prizes that help speed them to launch. For more information and a complete list of participating cities, please visit www.unleashingideas.org/weekend

Global Entrepreneurship Week Supporters

Global Entrepreneurship Week supporters include well-known entrepreneurs like Richard Branson, The Virgin Group; Michael Dell, Dell Computers; Russell Simmons, Def Jam Records; Blake Mycoskie, TOMS Shoes; and, Steve Case, America Online (AOL). Dozens of influential political figures have also backed the initiative, such as Barack Obama, president of the United States; Hillary Clinton, U.S. secretary of State; David Cameron, UK prime minister; Prince Charles, prince of Wales (UK); Anibal Cavaco Silva, president of Portugal; Nicolas Sarkozy, president of France; Benjamin Netanyahu, prime minister of Israel; John Atta Mills, president of Ghana and Mohammed VI, king of Morocco.

Organizations supporting GEW include NYSE Euronext, Endeavor, Entrepreneurs’ Organization, JA Worldwide, Youth Business International, Center for International Private Enterprise, DECA, Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, Youth Employment Network, IFC/SME Toolkit, Business Council for International Understanding, Youth Enterprise and Sustainability, MIT Enterprise Forum, Kairos Society and Making Cents International.

To view a complete list of participating countries and organizations, or to learn more about the Week, visit www.unleashingideas.org.

Global Entrepreneurship Week

During one week each November, thousands of activities around the world inspire millions to engage in entrepreneurial action while connecting them to potential mentors, collaborators and investors. In three short years, Global Entrepreneurship Week has expanded to more than 100 countries—empowering nearly 20 million people through 95,000 activities. Powered by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the initiative is supported by dozens of world leaders and a growing network of 24,000 partner organizations. For more information, visit www.unleashingideas.org, and follow @unleashingideas on Twitter.

Kauffman Foundation

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a private nonpartisan foundation that works to harness the power of entrepreneurship and innovation to grow economies and improve human welfare. Through its research and other initiatives, the Kauffman Foundation aims to open young people's eyes to the possibility of entrepreneurship, promote entrepreneurship education, raise awareness of entrepreneurship-friendly policies, and find alternative pathways for the commercialization of new knowledge and technologies. In addition, the Foundation focuses on initiatives in the Kansas City region to advance students’ math and science skills, and improve the educational achievement of urban students, including the Ewing Marion Kauffman School, a college preparatory charter school for middle and high school students set to open in 2011. Founded by late entrepreneur and philanthropist Ewing Marion Kauffman, the Foundation is based in Kansas City, Mo. and has approximately $2 billion in assets. For more information, visitwww.kauffman.org, and follow the Foundation on Twitter at @kauffmanfdn and Facebook