Global Entrepreneurship Week is a global celebration of entrepreneurship that occurs in the second week of November, from November 14–20 this year. During this week, people from various countries worldwide come together through local, national, and global events to create solutions for worldwide economic growth. Did you know entrepreneurs were first defined as risk-takers in the late 17th century by Richard Cantillon, an Irish-French economist? Entrepreneurs are individuals who start a business, taking a financial risk in the hope of profit. However, with the advent of business analytics methods, these individuals no longer have to hope to make a profit — they can easily forecast the probability of their business being successful by leveraging data.
History of Global Entrepreneurship Week
17000 B.C. New Guinea, where our hunter-gatherer ancestors traded obsidian for essential and non-essential goods. This form of trading would continue until the first Agricultural Revolution in 10000 B.C. — when we started domesticating animals and plants, and building communities. People began specializing in a different economic niche, and goods or services they created were exchanged for other goods or services. As specialization improved and trade volume increased, communities transformed from small holdings to towns and cities with thousands of people. The Fertile Crescent, Sumeria, and the city of Uruk are examples of these cities.
The invention of money around 650 and 600 B.C. helped shape human society and entrepreneurship. People moved from trade by barter to a trust-based economy, where value was placed on items such as cowries, silver rings and bars, beads, and tobacco leaves.
Fast forward to the 1800s where machines began playing a crucial role in economic development. Capitalism became the ideal economic approach, with people freely allowed to pursue their self-interests to better society. This era gave rise to great entrepreneurs and innovators like Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, and Henry Ford.
From the 19th century to the present, entrepreneurship became the very pillar on which global economies rest. As technologies continue to evolve, the number of entrepreneurs will grow, and the global dependency on entrepreneurship will increase.
Seeing the importance of entrepreneurship to global economic advancement and human welfare, in 2008, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation created Global Entrepreneurship Week. Since then, it has grown from a series of events happening only in the U.S. and U.K. to expanding to over 165 countries.
Global Entrepreneurship Week timeline
The first entrepreneurs emerge in New Guinea, who trade obsidian for food and other goods.
The invention of money is a turning point in entrepreneurship history and paves the way for it to move beyond borders.
The Irish-French economist, Richard Cantillion, is the first to use entrepreneurship in his book, “Essay on the Nature of Trade in General”.
Social initiatives that strive to create a positive impact in society while making a profit start being considered as a form of entrepreneurship.
Global Entrepreneurship Week FAQs
How do I become an entrepreneur?
First, you need to discover your passion or a common need you believe you can fill. Then discover ways you can monetize it. Do market or customer research to confirm if there really is a need for your idea. Design a business plan, test-run the idea with friends, family, and experts, and improve it based on feedback. Put a team together if necessary and market your product.
What are the three important skills every entrepreneur needs?
Adaptability, persistence, and leadership are the three important skills every entrepreneur needs. But other skills such as creativity, problem-solving, and communication are also necessary.
What are the risks of entrepreneurship?
Numerous risks are associated with entrepreneurship, including competitive risks, fluctuations in currency, reputational risks, sales execution risks, and operational risks.
How To Observe Global Entrepreneurship Week
Participate in the Global Entrepreneurship Week events
Every year, several events, activities, and competitions occur in countries worldwide to celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week. Check the internet for the ones happening in an area close to you. Mark the date and come prepared to learn and expand your network.
Bring your business idea to life
If you have a business idea that you have been contemplating, Global Entrepreneurship Week can be a perfect time to take that leap and make it happen. Business pitching competitions are an essential part of Global Entrepreneurship Week. You can check if there is one happening in your area, enter the competition, and prepare your business plan and pitch ahead.
Organize a Global Entrepreneurship Week event
If there is no Global Entrepreneurship Week event happening in your local area, why not organize one? Entrepreneurship is a topic that many organizations love to get on board with, especially when it involves youth. That means it will be a little less difficult to obtain sponsorship. Create a project plan and a proposal and submit them to as many like-minded organizations as possible. Don’t wait until you get a signed partnership to start preparing the necessary logistics for the business. The rule of thumb is to prepare three months ahead.
5 Fascinating Facts About Entrepreneurship
There are 582 million entrepreneurs worldwide
That means about 5% of the global population are entrepreneurs.
Older adults tend to embrace entrepreneurship
According to a study, 60% of small businesses were started by people between 40 and 60 years of age.
Google is an advice resource for entrepreneurs
A significant number of entrepreneurs, 26%, choose to Google their problems rather than turn to colleagues or books for advice.
The U.S. is the land of entrepreneurs
The U.S. ranks top in creating enabling business climates for entrepreneurs and developing small businesses.
Most U.S. businesses were built from scratch
About 80% of U.S. business owners built their companies from the ground up, and fewer inherited or purchased their businesses.
Why Global Entrepreneurship Week is Important
Entrepreneurship drives innovation
Entrepreneurial individuals have brought about every new technology and innovation in recent memory. That includes the likes of Thomas Edison, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, and Elon Musk. By introducing new products and services to the market, these entrepreneurs improved the standard of living, evolved society, and paved the way for new markets. We are faced with an unprecedented existential crisis with climate change, and entrepreneurship will be essential in helping us mitigate and adapt to a crisis such as this.
Global Entrepreneurship Week recognizes the importance of entrepreneurship to economic growth
One of the key reasons Global Entrepreneurship Week was founded is to highlight entrepreneurship as a driver of economic growth. Entrepreneurs are job creators, and through their innovative ideas, they bring about new-and-improved products, services, and technology. All these have a ripple effect on the economy, as it contributes to increased employment, creates more qualified workers for industries, and generates more national wealth.
Entrepreneurship contributes to positive social changes
Entrepreneurship doesn’t only address economic issues but issues of sustainability too. Social entrepreneurship, for example, helps solve problems of education, water scarcity, and gender equality, contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals.
Global Entrepreneurship Week dates