Entrepreneurs around the world will unite in the U.S. this week for the annual Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW), which begins in the United States on Monday. Throughout the week, groups from 100 different countries have organized events, games and competitions to spread awareness about entrepreneurship.
As stated on the website for the event, this week is a time to inspire the young people of the world to utilize innovation and creativity as a way to generate new ideas.
Anne Gilberg, the National Director for GEW/USA since 2009, said in an email the GEW is truly a grass-roots movement.
“It is implemented in each country by a host organization that recruits partners … These activities can be anything the partner organization thinks their audience would be most interested in and/or finds the most productive,” Gilberg said.
Countries such as Malaysia and Turkey launched GEW early with networking meetings in addition to a “Breakfast Press Conference,” said the website.
However, in the U.S. the activities begin on Nov. 15 and extend until Nov. 21. The University of California, Berkeley and other universities are teaming up with Intel to find the technologies and teams that can have the greatest impact. Nearly 30 teams will come to Berkeley to compete for up to $45,000 in prize money, as stated on the campus website.
Those looking for GEW activities at Cal Poly will have the opportunity to experience Roadtrip Nation on Dexter Lawn on Nov. 17.
Roadtrip Nation is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating educational resources via video interviews said Austin Condon, the vice president of programs for Cal Poly Entrepreneurs and business administration senior.
In 2001, four students had recently graduated from college and decided to buy an old RV to travel the country interviewing people they looked up to. The seed then blossomed into a bigger project when the group realized the value of what they were doing, and decided to share the information they received with other people who may find it inspiring.
From 1 to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, students will be able to walk inside the Roadtrip Nation van to learn more about how to follow their dreams and meet their goals.
“They are teaching us that by following our heart and doing what we love to do, we live a more fulfilling life and are able to give back to the world in a genuine way,” Condon said.
The president of the Cal Poly Entrepreneurs and business administration junior Max Mero said that from what he knew about the organization, this event should be positive for the students at Cal Poly.
“We are going to use this as a focal point for the activities that we do in the future … we will continue to challenge kids to think outside the box,” Mero said.
The Cal Poly Entrepreneurs are in their second year of operation. The club is centered on the idea of launching new businesses and developing the necessary skills to create a successful business, Condon said.
“I grew up seeing my dad in a nine-to-five job and I knew that just wasn’t what I wanted,” Mero said. “I’m not saying you have to go out and start your own business, but you can use entrepreneurial skills to make your job better.”
Dr. Jonathan York, co-founder of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Cal Poly said GEW is a great way to not only focus on general entrepreneurship, but also to highlight the Cal Poly Entrepreneurs.
“Entrepreneurship is more important than ever with all of the economic and financial problems that people and businesses are having,” York said.
By creating an entrepreneurial ecosystem in the country and throughout the world we can create more jobs and ensure that a recession does not happen again, Gilberg said.
York also said this week will help bring recognition to entrepreneurship, but said we have to recognize the importance of entrepreneurship all the time.
After GEW is over, York said she hopes people, especially Cal Poly students, take an interest in entrepreneurship and participate in future events the Cal Poly Entrepreneurs host.
“We have a whole year’s worth of plans,” York said.
By doing so, the Cal Poly Entrepreneurs can spread the word about entrepreneurship, he said.
“A lot of people think that it is about starting your own business but it’s actually about an attitude to take control of your own future,” York said.
Many people believe entrepreneurs are only business administration majors, but the main idea of the Cal Poly Entrepreneurs is to encourage people from multiple disciplines to join the organization, Condon said.
“I learned how wrong that assumption is because any person with the ideas, motivation and skill set can become an entrepreneur,” Gilberg said.