Global Entrepreneurship Week 2011

All new ventures started with an idea. What if there was a global movement to inspire people all over the world to embrace their ideas, and be entrepreneurs? Enter Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW), the world’s largest movement to celebrate the innovators who launch startups that bring ideas to life, drive economic growth and expand human welfare.

First launched in 2008 by former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Carl Schramm, the president and CEO of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, GEW has since grown to 115 countries—with nearly 24,000 partner organizations planning more than 37,000 activities that directly engage more than 7 million people.

During one week each November, host organisations in each country run events for aspiring entrepreneurs. From large-scale competitions to seminars and networking gatherings, GEW connects these young people and inspires them to follow their passions and pursue their dreams.

Locally, the Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE), Institutes of Higher Learning and government agencies such as SPRING Singapore and Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) of Singapore provide enterprising youths with support throughout the year. There is a good reason to do so based on the findings of the Global University Entrepreneurial Spirit Students’ Survey (GUESSS) in 2008, more than 81% of local youths surveyed said they aspire to start their own businesses eventually.

Entrepreneurship in Singapore is encouraged from young through the Young Entrepreneurs Scheme for Schools (YES! Schools), which provides schools with up to S$100,000 to set up a structured entrepreneurship learning programme for their students. SPRING Singapore also renders financial support to young entrepreneurs below 26 years old through the Young Entrepreneurs Scheme for Startups (YES! Startups), which puts in $4 for every $1 raised by the young entrepreneur to start his or her own business. Since its launch in late 2008, YES! Startups have helped some 130 young entrepreneurs take their businesses off the ground, with many of them running profitable businesses today! Incubators, angel investors and venture capitalists are also encouraged to help local startups grow by mentoring them and providing access to capital, networks, and market leads. Angel investors who invest at least $100,000 into a startup are eligible for tax deductions too.

This year, for the fourth time, ACE will be hosting GEW Singapore 2011. Together with more than 15 partners, a series of exciting entrepreneurship-related activities will take place at various locations in Singapore from 8 to 20 November 2011.