Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) is already upon us. Running from November 18 to 24, GEW is a celebration of entrepreneurship, intended to reinforce existing businesses by fostering new networking connections and inspiring new business ownership by introducing prospective entrepreneurs to the resources in their cities. Whether you're a young professional hoping to get some feedback on your burgeoning business idea or a seasoned vet hoping to pass some wisdom on to the next generation, there are countless reasons to get involved.
The question is, how?
A Briefer on Global Entrepreneurship Week
GEW is an initiative fronted by the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN), which operates in more than 170 countries as an organization dedicated to fostering more business creation and economic growth. GEW is also powered by the Kauffman Foundation, an organization dedicated to facilitating entrepreneurship and education.
Entrepreneurship is a gateway to economic growth; startups and new businesses are responsible for a disproportionate percentage of new job creation, and tend to produce the innovation we need most to continue our economic progress. However, entrepreneurs need support systems to succeed. They need like-minded entrepreneurs to collaborate with, access to investors and mentors, and enough enthusiasm in the community to incentivize their creation and ongoing development.
GEW was created to showcase and nurture those support systems. By connecting professionals and creatives with the organizations and individuals most likely to help them succeed, GEW is a unique opportunity to incentivize new business creation--and help existing businesses thrive in a given community.
Spotlight: Global Entrepreneurship Week Palm Beach
The burden of organization is placed on local regions, so it's easiest to understand what GEW is all about through the lens of specific communities. As an example, let's look at GEW Palm Beach, in Florida. This will be the sixth year in a row that Palm Beach will be observing Entrepreneurship Week, and more than a dozen separate entrepreneurial support organizations have come together to host events throughout the week.
Palm Beach Tech, a nonprofit membership association that unites and builds the software, engineering, digital, and information technology industry verticals throughout Palm Beach County, is playing a central role this year, organizing meetups, talks, and events throughout the city.
"Entrepreneurship Week Palm Beach brings together thousands in our community to celebrate the next generation of small business and startup founders," said Palm Beach Tech CEO Joe Russo. "The very existence of the many groups organizing this is proof that our entrepreneurial ecosystem is growing stronger than ever."
Indeed, multiple for-profit companies and nonprofit organizations are collaborating to make these events more accessible and more valuable. There's FAU Tech Runway, a South Florida public-private partnership that functions as a tech startup accelerator and incubator. There's Junior Achievement of the Palm Beaches and Treasure Coast, an organization dedicated to encouraging achievement and education in work readiness in kids K to 12. There's also Venture X, the Flamingo House, and 1909, various co-working spaces all lending out their facilities for some or all of the week's events.
On Thursday the 14th, you can check out local startups at a BDB Entrepreneur luncheon. On Friday the 15th, you can attend a meetup of creatives and entrepreneurs from throughout Palm Beach County. On Tuesday the 19th, Junior Achievement Launch Lessons will be providing 50-minute seminars for high school students around the city, and on Wednesday the 20th, the Palm Beach Tech Association will be hosting a meetup of tech pros, enthusiasts, and stakeholders.
On top of that, Friday the 22nd will be "free co-working day," with multiple co-working spaces in Palm Beach County offering their workspaces to the public for free, in an effort to bring the community together and help business owners, contractors, and remote workers build their networks. Everything culminates with a one-of-a-kind celebration on Saturday the 23rd, which brings together musicians, emerging businesses, and other talented professionals for 1909Fest at Subculture Alley.
Finding Local GEW Events
If you don't live in Palm Beach County, don't worry--there are plenty of opportunities for you to get involved in your local community. Check in with startup incubators and accelerators, co-working spaces, and nonprofit organizations dedicated to entrepreneurship in your city to see what GEW events are available to you. Whether you're interested in networking, learning more about entrepreneurship, or just capitalizing on the open resources and celebratory festivities of the event, there's something for everyone.
And if you find your city doesn't have events organized around GEW, this could be your chance to get involved. Every entrepreneurial community has to start somewhere!