SOURCE: Kauffman Foundation

November 17, 2008 09:00 ET

Today Marks Launch of First-Ever Global Entrepreneurship Week

77 Countries and Thousands of Organizations Join Effort to Inspire the Next Generation of Entrepreneurs

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - November 17, 2008) - Beginning today, Global Entrepreneurship Week, the world's first-ever celebration of enterprising spirit, arrives as an international, open-source answer to the current economic downturn.

Recognizing the global nature of many of the challenges we face, Global Entrepreneurship Week, Nov. 17-23, will connect innovative young people with their counterparts around the world, and ultimately create a global movement of entrepreneurial people.

Co-founded by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation in the United States and Make Your Mark, a business-led, government-backed campaign in the United Kingdom, the Week is estimated to engage more than 5 million young people in 77 countries through more than 11,000 events.

"Now more than ever, it is imperative that we do everything we can to promote entrepreneurship," said Carl Schramm, president and CEO of the Kauffman Foundation. "As the global economic downturn deepens, we are relying on entrepreneurial people with new thinking to lead us out of the recession. We look forward to the outcome of this unprecedented celebration."

In the United States, all 50 states are joining the global effort with more than 1,200 partners hosting 800-plus events throughout the country.

Global Entrepreneurship Week is an outgrowth of Global Enterprise Week in the UK, which began four years ago, and EntrepreneurshipWeek USA in 2007. Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Schramm joined forces to create a combined effort that would reach out to countries around the world and create cross-cultural discussions about entrepreneurship and its importance.

"Global Entrepreneurship Week brings young people together across national borders, taking enterprise to the classroom and giving young people the confidence and self-belief not only to develop tomorrow's big ideas but to put them into practice," said Brown. "The Week will reach millions of young people, and to each one of them my challenge is this: Believe in your ideas and make them happen. You can be making a difference, so be bold, be imaginative, be brilliant. That's really what this Week is all about. Enjoy it."

Those supporting Global Entrepreneurship Week include big-name entrepreneurs and leading business figures such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, California governor; Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group; Pan Shiyi, founder of SOHO China; Russell Simmons, U.S. hip-hop pioneer; Lord Bilimoria, founder of Cobra Beer; Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple.

Global businesses supporting the Week include global sponsors Ernst & Young, IBM and NYSE Euronext, as well as Honda, Dell, Coca-Cola, Microsoft and Intel.

Below is a list of the participating countries. To learn more about the Week, those involved and the activities around the world, 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, turn their ideas into reality, and 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 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, Department for Business Enterprise & Regulatory Reform, AIESEC, Youth Employment Services, The Prince's Youth Business International.

Countries participating in Global Entrepreneurship Week:

1.  Argentina            27. Honduras       53. Paraguay
2.  Australia            28. Hungary        54. Peru
3.  Bahamas              29. India          55. Philippines
4.  Barbados             30. Indonesia      56. Poland
5.  Belgium              31. Ireland        57. Portugal
6.  Bermuda              32. Italy          58. Romania
7.  Bolivia              33. Japan          59. Russia
8.  Botswana             34. Kenya          60. Rwanda
9.  Brazil               35. Kyrgyzstan     61. Saudi Arabia
10. Bulgaria             36. Latvia         62. Serbia
11. Burkina Faso         37. Lebanon        63. Singapore
12. Cameroon             38. Lithuania      64. Slovakia
13. Canada               39. Macedonia      65. South Africa
14. Chile                40. Madagascar     66. Spain
15. China                41. Malaysia       67. Sri Lanka
16. Colombia             42. Mali           68. Sweden
17. Croatia              43. Malta          69. Turkey
18. Czech Republic       44. Mexico         70. Uganda
19. Denmark              45. Morocco        71. United Arab Emirates
20. Dominican Republic   46. Mozambique     72. United Kingdom
21. Egypt                47. Nepal          73. United States
22. Finland              48. Netherlands    74. Uruguay
23. France               49. New Zealand    75. Venezuela
24. Germany              50. Nigeria        76. Vietnam
25. Ghana                51. Norway         77. Zambia
26. Greece               52. Pakistan

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