We’re less than a week away from the world’s largest celebration of the innovators and job creators who bring ideas to life, drive economic growth and expand human welfare. From 16 to 22 November we’ll all be inspired to explore our potential as self-starters during the annual Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW).
Millions around the world who have never considered launching their own ventures will soak up advice and inspiration from the world’s entrepreneurial heavyweights. GEW is more than just an awareness campaign. It’s a platform for connection and collaboration that engages all players in the entrepreneurship game to strengthen ecosystems around the world. 140 countries now celebrate GEW each November. The number has grown from its initial 77 when the initiative was launched in 2008.
A simple search on the GEW activities’ database shows a phenomenal increase in the number of activities in South Africa between 2013 and 2014 – from just 12 to 127! Out of 36 African countries participating in this year’s GEW, South Africa has the second highest number of activities after Algeria where participants have a choice of 168 activities to choose from. Uganda and Nigeria have 48 and 28 activities listed, respectively.
This year however, the number of our activities has taken a dip from the 127 in 2014 as there are currently only 96 activities listed from the likes of Shanduka Black Umbrellas, The Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship, The Hookup Dinner and Microsoft BizSparkAfrika to name a few. This fall mirrors, worryingly, the data on our 2014 Total Entrepreneurial Activity (TEA) published in a report by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) earlier this year. The 2014 GEM found that our TEA fell from 10.6% in 2013 to 7.0% in 2014 – a fall of 34%. Relative to our population size, this translates to approximately 1m fewer entrepreneurs than in 2013.
What can we do about this?
The Foundation believes that economic empowerment through entrepreneurship is critical in South Africa. So we’re pleased to announce that, following the success of last year’s inaugural Make-a-R100 challenge, we’ll be encouraging entrepreneurial thinking, once again, during this year’s GEW through our Make-a-R100 challenge. It’s a simple challenge:
- 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. Who knows? Your idea could become a multi-billion rand, high impact business that alters the country’s socio-economic landscape.
We’ll be watching all developments keenly when #GEW2015 kicks off next week Monday.