SOURCE: Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

August 19, 2009 08:00 ET

Global Entrepreneurship Week 2009 Celebrates the Vital Role Entrepreneurs Play in Innovation, Job Creation and Economic Recovery

81 Countries Join Worldwide Effort to Educate and Inspire Next Generation of Entrepreneurs Nov. 16 - 22

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - August 19, 2009) - This November, young people around the globe will get together to change the world. That's when hundreds of organizations worldwide will be holding events to inspire, connect, mentor and engage young people and encourage them to pursue entrepreneurial ideas and opportunities. Global Entrepreneurship Week, the worldwide celebration of creativity and innovation, will be held Nov. 16 - 22, 2009.

Co-founded in 2008 by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation in the United States and Make Your Mark, a business-led government-backed campaign in the United Kingdom, Global Entrepreneurship Week will connect young people through local, national and global activities designed to help them explore their potential as self-starters and innovators. Students, educators, entrepreneurs, business leaders, employees, non-profit leaders, government officials and others will participate in a host of activities that include virtual and face-to-face events, large-scale competitions and intimate networking gatherings.

In 2009, the Week is estimated to exceed the 3 million people and 8,800 organizations around the globe that participated in the inaugural Global Entrepreneurship Week in 2008. Already, 81 countries have signed up.

"The world knows that entrepreneurship is the key to economic recovery, and the next generation of innovators holds that key," said Carl Schramm, president and CEO of the Kauffman Foundation. "Now more than ever, we need to unleash the creativity and ingenuity of our youth by engaging them in the endless possibilities of entrepreneurship."

Global Entrepreneurship Week Activities in the Works

In the United States, all 50 states are joining the global effort with more than 650 partners hosting events throughout the country. More than 200 universities and colleges are engaging students and celebrating entrepreneurship at their schools through a variety of Global Entrepreneurship Week activities and events.

While each participating organization can create its own unique event, the Week offers four activities, listed below, that organizations can easily adapt to host in their home markets. Each event comes with a customizable toolkit:

1. Global Clean Tech Open Ideas Competition: This event series seeks the best clean technology ideas from around the world. Participating organizations can solicit business ideas from young entrepreneurs and hold local competitions throughout September and October. Local winners will participate in a national competition in San Francisco, where the top idea will receive at least $100,000 worth of startup services from seasoned experts in Silicon Valley and elsewhere.

2. Global Innovation Tournament: This "Apprentice-style" competition pits students around the world against one another with the goal of promoting innovation. The challenge begins by revealing a common, global problem as the focal point for contestants. Teams have eight days to execute an idea and create a three-minute video explaining their work, which is then posted on YouTube. During Global Entrepreneurship Week, area hosts will coordinate a panel of judges made up of local business and civic leaders who select a local winner. A separate panel of judges will then select a global winner from these local winners shortly after Global Entrepreneurship Week.

3. NYSE Euronext Mentoring Madness: Mentoring Madness aims to inspire young entrepreneurs by learning from those at the top of their game. Local partners are encouraged to host their own mentoring events by inviting a local panel of successful entrepreneurs and incorporating the NYSE Euronext Web cast feed into their event, which will take place at the New York Stock Exchange.

4. Speednetwork the Globe: This event brings together entrepreneurs of all backgrounds to unleash energy, share ideas and make connections -- fast. Participants are given about five minutes to "speednetwork" with another person. When time is up, a whistle is blown and everyone has to find someone new to talk to. Discussions can be about anything, but this is an opportunity to pose your burning entrepreneurial questions to a variety of people and potentially find a collaborator or investor.

Global Entrepreneurship Week Supporters

Those supporting Global Entrepreneurship Week include well-known entrepreneurs, industry luminaries and influential political figures such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, California governor; Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group; and Lord Bilimoria, founder of Cobra Beer.

Organizations supporting Global Entrepreneurship Week include global sponsor NYSE Euronext; global partners Endeavor, Junior Achievement Worldwide (JA), Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO), DECA, the Prince's Youth Business International, Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), UK Department for Business Innovation and Skills, MIT Enterprise Forum, the European Confederation of Young Entrepreneurs and Youth Enterprise and Sustainability.

To view a complete list of participating countries and organizations, or to learn more about the Week, 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. 16-22, 2009, millions of young people around the world will join a growing movement to generate new ideas and seek better ways of doing things. Tens of thousands of activities are being planned in dozens of countries. Global Entrepreneurship Week is founded by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and the Make Your Mark campaign. 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. It also works to prepare students to be innovators, entrepreneurs and skilled workers in the 21st century economy through initiatives designed to improve learning in math, engineering, science and technology. 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, visit www.kauffman.org, and follow @kauffmanfdn on Twitter.

Make Your Mark

Make Your Mark is the campaign to give young people in the UK the confidence, skills and ambition to be enterprising -- to have ideas and make them happen. Run by Enterprise Insight, which was founded by the four leading UK business membership organisations -- the British Chambers of Commerce, the CBI, the Federation of Small Businesses and the Institute of Directors. Their Director-Generals sit on our board, which is chaired by entrepreneur Peter Jones, from BBC's Dragon's Den. It is supported by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and endorsed by the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown. www.makeyourmark.org.uk

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