SOURCE: Kauffman Foundation

November 17, 2008 11:37 ET

Global Entrepreneurship Week A-List Ambassadors

Famous Entrepreneurs Join First-Ever Global Celebration

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - November 17, 2008) - From California's governor and Britain's prime minister to hip-hop legends, TV stars and renowned innovators, entrepreneurial celebrities are lending their fame and support as ambassadors of Global Entrepreneurship Week.

The Week, Nov. 17-23, offers a first-ever worldwide series of events to celebrate the spirit of entrepreneurship and encourage young people to become more innovative and entrepreneurial. In the United States, the Week includes a series of national events and hundreds of events sponsored locally across the country. Founding sponsors for Global Entrepreneurship Week are the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation in the United States and Make Your Mark in the United Kingdom.

Global Entrepreneurship Week ambassadors have signed on to promote, support and participate in events during the Week. Because each ambassador is different, so is his or her involvement -- Gov. Schwarzenegger, for example, is kicking off the Week with Carl Schramm, CEO and president of the Kauffman Foundation, in Los Angeles, and P. Miller (formerly Master P) is a keynote speaker at a hip hop and entrepreneurship event in Kansas City, Mo.

"With such outstanding ambassadors whose achievements and unique talents are so impressive, young people across the globe will continue to appreciate the significance of Global Entrepreneurship Week," said Schramm. "We are grateful to all our ambassadors and appreciate their support."

The following are some Global Entrepreneurship Week ambassador a-listers:

Russell Simmons, entrepreneur and music mogul. Simmons will host the Race to BE., a national competition that will engage innovators in three industries, in three cities: fashion in New York, music in Austin, Texas, and film in Los Angeles. During the Week, five finalists from each category will compete in an on-site challenge with each winner receiving $5,000, a mentoring opportunity, a possible internship and post-event PR for their winning concept.

Arnold Schwarzenegger, California governor, former Mr. Universe and Hollywood action movie star. Schwarzenegger will kick off the event in Los Angeles on Tuesday, Nov. 18, and host The Governor's Conference on Small Business & Entrepreneurship from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. PST, Nov. 18 and 19, at the Renaissance Montura Hotel. The Governor's Conference will gather California's most inspired and innovative entrepreneurs and small business leaders to create a forum for ideas, inspiration and practical solutions that will drive the state's entrepreneurial economy forward into its next era of prosperity. Notably as California's governor, Schwarzenegger has championed the state's tourism, reduced greenhouse gas emissions and increased California's Gross State Product by nearly 30 percent. For more information about the Governor's Conference, visit www.sba.ca.gov.

Gordon Brown, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Brown announced Global Entrepreneurship Week with Schramm in November 2007 and will participate in a global launch and celebration this Week.

Michael Dell, founder and CEO of Dell, Inc.

Percy Miller -- aka P. Miller and formerly known as Master P, founder and CEO of P. Miller Enterprises, Grammy-winning rap artist and founder of No Limit Records. P. Miller will attend the Hip Hop and Entrepreneurship Forum from 7 - 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 19, in Kansas City, Mo.

Carlton Ridenhour -- aka Chuck D, of hip-hop group Public Enemy and rapper, author, producer and entrepreneur. He also will attend the Hip Hop and Entrepreneurship Forum in Kansas City.

Peter Thum, founder of Ethos™ Water. Thum will attend the Mentoring Madness event, explained below, and field questions from young entrepreneurs.

The New York Stock Exchange, one of the Week's global sponsors, will host Mentoring Madness at 10 a.m., Friday, Nov. 21. It will feature Russell Simmons and other successful entrepreneurs discussing how they got their start and what challenges they faced. In addition, the panelists will advise the next generation of entrepreneurs. Alexis Glick from Fox News will moderate the discussions, and students in the audience will have an opportunity to ask the entrepreneurs questions. The event will be Web cast at www.unleashingideas.org/mentoringmadness.

Emmanuel Jal, acclaimed hip-hop artist whose style and lyrics stem from his experiences as a child soldier in Sudan.

Sir Alan Sugar, entrepreneur and star of BBC's "The Apprentice."

James Caan, entrepreneur and host of BBC's "Dragons' Den," a show about entrepreneurs in the United Kingdom who pitch their ideas to secure investment finance and expertise from a panel of business experts or "dragons."

Penny Newman, CEO of Fifteen Foundation, a top-class restaurant founded by Jamie Oliver that offers professional training to disadvantaged youth with locations in Amsterdam, Melbourne, Cornwall and London, each with its own foundation and apprenticeship scheme.

Jo Wood, founder of organic skin care company, Jo Wood Organics, ex-model and wife of Rolling Stones guitarist, Ronnie Wood.

Martha Lane Fox, founder of www.LastMinute.com, a last-minute travel, entertainment and gift Web site featuring deals, discounts and vacation ideas.

Simon Woodroffe, founder of YO! Sushi and YOTEL. YO! Sushi's concept is unique in that it features a conveyor belt sushi bar, robot drink trolleys and Japanese television for a full dining and entertainment experience. YOTEL is a micro luxury hotel located inside London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports and Amsterdam's Schiphol airport.

John Bird, founder of The Big Issue, an entertainment and current affairs magazine written by professional journalists and sold by homeless people.

Margaret Heffernan, entrepreneur, CEO and author whose writings run in The Huffington Post, Fast Company, MORE and more.

For more information about Global Entrepreneurship Week signature activities and events near you, 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. To view a complete list of participating countries and organizations or to learn more, visit www.unleashingideas.org.

Contact Information

  • CONTACTS:
    Sarah Brewster
    media relations representative
    Email Contact
    (816) 842-8111

    Barbara Pruitt
    Kauffman Foundation
    Email Contact
    (816) 932-1288