Scott Anderson

Global Entrepreneurship Week: Let’s Get to Work

The iPod was created during a recession. So was another, perhaps more socially impactful technology: canned foods.

While the world, to one degree or another, grasps a lifeline out of the quicksand that was/is the financial crisis, there are at least 100 countries, 40,000 events and 10 million people pulling on the other end of the rope.

These are the impressive stats estimated for the 2010 Global Entrepreneurship Week, which officially begins today. Co-founded by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and Enterprise UK in 2008, the impressive growth of participation says a lot about its organizers. But it perhaps says even more about our collective will to innovate ourselves out of the downturn. And, certainly for any other recession in history, more people than ever before have more access to innovative ideas to build an enterprise.

We can easily forget that entrepreneurship is not embedded in a culture or a nationality, a point that the GEW site noted in this post on Jordan’s participation in GEW this year. Yet many once-reluctant governments across the world now recognize that entrepreneurship and investment are the keys to mobile societies. Keeping that momentum going is what makes GEW and GEW-like events all the more critical.

The events for GEW – from business writing competitions, speakers, networking sessions (both physical and virtual) are as varied as the geographies, but the core idea is the same: to inspire budding entrepreneurs by bringing together students, educators, business leaders, non-profits and government around the best ideas.

In my small corner of the world, Jacqueline Novogratz, the CEO and Founder of Acumen Fund, will give a talk on the interdisciplinary nature of social entrepreneurship at the University of Michigan, capping off the GEW events this week. Click here for a complete list of GEW events.

We’ll be covering Novogratz’s discussion, but we want to hear from you. Let us know what you see, hear and contribute this week.