PDT Celebrates Global Entrepreneurship Week

Apr 24, 2012 at 8:11 am Leave a comment

This was originally posted on the Building Markets blog on November 15, 2011.

If you know anything about PDT you know that we are all about supporting and promoting entrepreneurs. But we’re not the only ones. Organizations, governments and individuals throughout the world actively promote entrepreneurship as a way to inspire, innovate and move people and societies forward. Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) is the world’s largest celebration of the innovators and job creators who launch startups and bring ideas to life. And PDT is excited to participate.

GEW encourages organizations and governments across the world to host or participate in events that promote entrepreneurship during the week of November 14-20th. This year 123 countries are officially participating, everywhere from Costa Rica to Zambia. Neither Afghanistan nor Haiti has ever participated in GEW, and we think that’s outrageous. While not widely publicized, both of these countries are filled with enterprising business owners who are pulling themselves and their fellow countrymen and women out of poverty through the private sector.

In Haiti, we are focused on inspiring young Haitians to believe that entrepreneurship is an opportunity to create opportunities and make their ideas a reality. Over 50 students from five universities will gather for a day of discussions, collaboration and competition. Haitian business owners, from a variety of youth and private foundations and NGOs, will lead workshops with the students about the ins and outs of owning a business in Haiti. We expect a content-rich event that will be both inspiring and challenging, just as entrepreneurship is.

GEW is particularly relevant in Afghanistan, a place where much of the world’s attention is focused on the presumed negative impacts of US and NATO troop drawdown. But PDT is staying positive about the transition. After all, our market research report on job creation and local businesses in Afghanistan shows that the rate of entrepreneurship in Afghanistan has risen in recent years. Inclusion in GEW would afford Afghanistan the opportunity to positively highlight its private sector and encourage young Afghans to think about seizing their futures through business ownership.

PDT is partnering with local universities and relevant Afghan ministers to host a daylong event for both students and Afghan business owners. Unfortunately, the scheduled date has been moved back, outside of the official week, to Thursday, November 24. This is due to a Loya Jirga, to be held on November 16, to discuss the strategic future of Afghanistan. Thousands are expected to attend, including 170 Afghan parliament members. During this time, all government offices, banks, universities, schools, and some businesses will be closed. Despite the delay, preparations are underway and PDT is expecting a good turnout on the 24th.

We’ll be sure to keep you posted about how the GEW events in Afghanistan and Haiti turn out. You can follow@haitifirst this week and @buyafghan on November 23rd  24th to get live updates on GEW in both countries. Or check out our Haiti and Afghanistan pages on Facebook, where we will post photos and videos of the event. And of course, we’ll provide you with some post-GEW analysis on the PDT blog. To find out more about all of the global events taking place this week, visit unleashingideas.org or follow @unleashingideas on Twitter.

In the meantime, we are getting excited about celebrating entrepreneurship and all the possibilities it brings, from reinvigorating stalled economies, to inspiring innovation and collaboration, to helping developing countries take ownership of their potential for growth.

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Entry filed under: Economic Development. Tags: , , , .

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