GEW 2015 is live – time to get involved | Allan Gray Orbis Foundation
GEW 2015 is live – time to get involved

GEW 2015 is live – time to get involved

Lindiwe Zulu GEW2015Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) 2015 is now well underway and it promises to be the biggest yet – both in South Africa and globally!

South Africa kicked off its week with a significant event at GIBS in Johannesburg yesterday. Energised by the prospect of Johannesburg’s hosting the Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC) in March 2017, Lindiwe Zulu, Minister of Small Business Development delivered the opening keynote, closing with a powerful encouragement that together we can move forward in building a more entrepreneurial and prosperous South Africa.  The unique characteristic of Johannesburg’s 2017 GEC, the so-called “world cup of entrepreneurship”, is that it brings together all elements of the entrepreneurial ecosystem for the greater good of making this event a success. This is not only for the sake of a single event, but for the purpose of ensuring that this unique opportunity leaves a lasting legacy of improved entrepreneurship in South Africa. It is seldom that all three levels of government, the business sector and civil society are so aligned around a single intervention.

For a sense of the international scale of GEW, Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) President, Jonathan Ortmans gives the following overview:

Best of GEW 

Now a week that has 10 million people participating in over 30,000 events can be a little overwhelming.  So we decided to point out three of our highlights from the week: some new research, a new tool and an event worth virtually attending, before bringing you back home to remind you of the local #MakeAR100 Challenge

  • Release of 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Index

Data released in the 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Index (GEI) provides key information for policymakers and government leaders worldwide to strengthen their entrepreneurial ecosystems and promote high-growth, high-impact entrepreneurship. This comprehensive index looks at both individual and institutional factors contributing to the entrepreneurial performance of the 132 countries participating in the index. It suggests that the world is operating at 52% of its full entrepreneurial capacity.  The Index is, thankfully, much better news for South Africa as it is the top performing Sub-Saharan Africa country and leads all the other BRICS countries. We will look in more detail at the implications of the 2016 GEI for South Africa in a blog post later in the year.

  • Launch of Startup Compete platform

GEN announced the launch of its new online platform to unleash ideas and power startup competitions around the world.  Startup Compete ( is a global networking site and competition platform for aspiring entrepreneurs, mentors and advisors to connect with each other and bring potential business ideas to market. To date, the competition platform has hosted 624 startup competitions with 29,394 business ideas submitted. This platform makes it simple for organisers, but more importantly, it helps budding entrepreneurs sharpen their skills and grow their business idea.

  • Webinar: Why Entrepreneurship Should Be Taught to Everyone, Not Only to Potential Entrepreneurs

Wednesday, 18 November 2015 – 5pm SA time

Leading entrepreneurship researcher, Sara Sarasvathy, unpacks the powerful paradigm of seeing entrepreneurship as a method, with the following implications discussed:

  1. Teach entrepreneurship to everyone, not only to potential entrepreneurs;
  2. Collect data on exit;
  3. Focus on growing the middle class of businesses, not gazelles;
  4. Create an experienced entrepreneur corps of mentors;
  5. Learn to think about employment differently.




Our Make-A-R100 challenge is gaining momentum.  People have been finding intriguing ways to make their R100 from delivering medicine scripts, to selling African books or fresh fruit from the farmers markets. Some school learners even went dancing in the streets to earn their money!

These examples all show that entrepreneurship is possible. So accept the challenge and Make-A-R100 in the following easy steps:

  • Find a product or service to sell
  • Make R100 (or more) profit
  • Upload photos to our Facebook page.

The idea with the most likes on our Facebook page wins R5 000! Tag your friends, family and colleagues. Follow @allangrayorbis and share the #MakeAR100. Challenge closes on 22 November 2015. Remember your idea could become a high impact business that alters the country’s socio-economic landscape.

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