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Spotlight on Global Entrepreneurship Week 2018

Pippa Davies
Pippa Davies    

Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) is a yearly celebration of entrepreneurs, innovators, partners and everyone who supports them to reach their entrepreneurial potential and thrive. It highlights the many social, economic and cultural benefits entrepreneurs can bring to society as a whole as well as their local communities.

Each year, GEW provides a great opportunity to showcase the inspiring work of the Youth Business International (YBI) network, through sharing not only the collective impact we are having but also highlighting the success stories of young people who have been supported by our members to start, grow or sustain a business in 50 countries across the globe.

2017 was a significant year for YBI, as the network grew to over 50 organisations and helped more young entrepreneurs than ever before. For this reason, we were delighted to share our 2017 Impact Report throughout GEW to reinforce the collective strength of the network, its members and our supporters who make the work possible.

Nine of our members were national GEW hosts this year, partnering with their national members of the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) to host events, activities and campaigns. GEN has a platform of projects and programmes across 170 countries worldwide, aiming to support people who want to start and scale their business. Every year in November, GEN celebrates the value of entrepreneurship through GEW, the global week dedicated to entrepreneurs and encouraging entrepreneurship.

Here are just a few of our highlights of the week from YBI network members around the world:


Youth Business Spain (YBS) were GEW hosts for the second time this year, having begun their hosting responsibility in 2017. Throughout November, they held 64 events across different regions in Spain. 14 organisations were involved, including their respective networks of beneficiaries. YBS coordinated an event showcasing the impact of their mentoring programme, which was organised by local partners Autoocupació (Catalonia), Aprofem (Albacete) and Mentor Day (Canary Islands). YBS is part of Youth Business Europe, YBI's regional programme supported by the Citi Foundation with the aim of helping young entrepreneurs to start or grow a business across Europe. (image at the top of the page is from their mentoring event)

Trinidad and Tobago

Youth Business Trinidad and Tobago (YBTT) organised over 30 events while hosting GEW this year, all around the unique theme of “Unleashing Excellence Through Competition”. Notable entrepreneurs in Trinidad and Tobago shared their experiences of success and failure with younger entrepreneurs and in some instances, even expressed interest in maintaining connections. Chambers of Commerce, tertiary institutions, incubators, and the media were also all involved in the campaign.

One of the highlights of YBTT's GEW campaign was the involvement of Shamfa Cudjoe, Minister of Tourism in Trinidad and Tobago, who delivered the keynote speech at their Youth Entrepreneurship Symposium: Image courtesy of Youth Business Trinidad and Tobago


Futurpreneur marked their tenth year as GEW hosts in Canada. This occasion was recognised by Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, who released a statement praising the work of YBI member, Futurpreneur. The statement highlighted the importance of entrepreneurship for the economy and local community development.

GEW in Canada also saw the launch of Futurpreneur’s event celebrating successful female entrepreneurs, 'Trailblazers'. The showcase featured five local entrepreneurs, who spoke at the event about setting up and scaling their businesses and the support they received to overcome the challenges in this process. Image courtesy of Futurpreneur

Also held during the week of celebration was a pitch workshop and competition to guide entrepreneurs in pitching their business effectively. The competition saw two winners awarded with $1,000 to fund their businesses.


Enterprise Uganda hosted GEW in the country and held a free conference between 14-15 November on a variety of topics related to entrepreneurship, in addition to a range of other activities throughout the week. Attendants had the opportunity to hear from expert speakers, the entrepreneurs themselves, as well as the opportunity to buy many of the products offered by their businesses. One of the young entrepreneurs who benefited from their support, Justus Nuwajuna, attended the Global Youth Panel to share his entrepreneurship journey starting with business start-up training and capital saved during university of around US $200 to create a business portfolio that six years later boasts a net-worth of over US $2 million, spanning the agri-business, real estate and retail trade sectors. Image courtesy of Enterprise Uganda


During the week of GEW, Youth Business Russia conducted a case-study session on mentoring in entrepreneurship within the framework of the 5th Voronezh Forum of Entrepreneurs. Mentors and mentees honestly spoke about their achievements, mistakes and rules of interaction in pairs. The enthusiasm expressed by the mentors inspired the audience. Firstly, experienced mentors spoke, then their mentees joined them - many of whom have already become mentors themselves. Image courtesy of Youth Business Russia


Enactus Kyrgyzstan held their annual Festival of Youth and Students as a celebration at the end of GEW 2018. The Festival was held in the President’s state residence and invited groups of young people who had held events themselves over the course of the week (over 40 were held in total!). They discussed the outcomes of the week and there was a panel discussion with invited speakers. The main event was the announcement of the results of the vote for the best young entrepreneurs in Kyrgyzstan.

Staff members from Enactus Kyrgyzstan and a young entrepreneur were also invited to speak on a radio programme about their celebrations of GEW 2018. They shared why it has been important to join this global movement, the goals and tasks of the week itself as well as some previous and future events they have planned. Image courtesy of Enactus Kyrgyzstan


As catalysts of the youth entrepreneurship ecosystem in Mozambique, ideiaLab has an active role during Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW). As well as being part of many of the GEW events that take place every year, ideiaLab organise the Women’s Entrepreneurship Day (WED) - the largest global initiative supporting women and girls to become active participants in the economy, celebrated worldwide on November 19th. Tatiana Pereira, ideiaLab’s Executive Catalyst, is WED’s ambassador for Mozambique and Lusophone Africa and, for the past three years, has hosted WED events in Mozambique to celebrate women’s entrepreneurial journeys.

This year, WED was in an outdoor setting, at the Museum of Natural History in Maputo, with an arts and crafts fair, food and drink, live music, and free classes (self-defence, Zumba, capoeira) for all. “WED in the park” celebrated women's entrepreneurial journeys and achievements, reaching the wider entrepreneurial ecosystem, society and economy. The scorching 35°C sun did not stop a total of around 800 people from attending throughout the day. 35 women showcased their products and services during the fair including decorations, beauty products, architecture, photography, food and drinks.  Image courtesy of ideiaLab

GEW – a global vehicle for international collaboration

Every year, GEW arrives with an impressive series of events, activities, campaigns and statistics that reach millions of people globally. More than anything else, GEW creates not only a space for conversation but also a global vehicle for international collaboration that will help drive progress in supporting people to realise their entrepreneurial potential.   

GEW helps put entrepreneurship in the spotlight every year and that’s why we are delighted to share some of the great participation from our members to this global movement, as well as the inspiring success stories of young entrepreneurs we support around the world.

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