By Gabriel Onyango
The Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) is an initiative of the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN). It is celebrated annually across 170 countries from 13th– 19th November through activities such as competitions, conferences, networking events, entrepreneurs’ boot camps etc.
Started in 2008 and largely supported by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, it has grown into a global network with 20,000 partner organizations bringing together up to 10 million people to celebrate the spirit of entrepreneurship in various countries this year alone.
The initiative has brought together influencers like Michael Dell (Dell Computers), Mohammed Yunus (Grameen Bank) and Richard Branson (Virgin Group). Connecting young and upcoming entrepreneurs with mentors, funders and role models. Inspiring them to take their ideas to new heights and change the world.
Each participating country in the global entrepreneurship week has to have a host organization that embodies the spirit of entrepreneurship. Their main job will be to drive the momentum of the event in their respective countries. Through establishing partnerships, holding events and sparking conversation.
In Kenya, that organization is Junior Achievement Kenya under John Wali.
This years’ event kicked off by Sir Richard Branson launching a next generation campus, 22 SLOANE in Sloane – Johannesburg, South Africa. The school will be the largest campus for start-ups in Africa. Helping entrepreneurs develop their ideas, while providing a range of services including mentorship, funding research etc.
“Global Entrepreneurship Week is a chance to network, strategize and inspire all the stakeholders in the entrepreneurship space globally. I believe that through our participation, we inspire others to join the growing movement of entrepreneurs,” Said John Wali, Kenya’s lead organizer-Global Entrepreneurship Week.
Kenya has been dubbed Africa’s innovation hub, and the global recognition of the country’s entrepreneurial ingenuity, keeps on pilling. With events such the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, and Africa TechCrunch Competition (2017) being hosted in the country.
Mr. Wali added that the Global Entrepreneurship Week presents an opportunity to celebrate the successes of entrepreneurs in the country. Since the launch of GEW Kenya, the movement has grown to more than 50 partners and more than 30,000 participants.
On that note, a salute to all entrepreneurs walking the narrow path of sacrifice, commitment and innovation. Take heart in that you are not alone-the world celebrates you. Happy Global Entrepreneurship Week.