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Global Entrepreneurship Week is a worldwide event intended as a celebration and empowerment of entrepreneurs in every country and community across the world. It is especially focused on those individuals who face more obstacles due to their circumstances and/or may never have considered starting a business before.
GEW, as everyone around the world abbreviates it, as an international initiative also has the added goal of introducing entrepreneurship to young people around the world. GEW emerged in 2008 as a result of Enterprise Week UK and Entrepreneurship Week USA. Since its creation, more than 10 million people from roughly 170 countries have participated in entrepreneurship-related events, activities, and competitions during GEW.
“University days are ideal days for taking risks because you do not have a lot to lose, and nobody cares if you fail. Failure is the best teacher!”Ante Dagelić, co-founder of GetByBus
This annual event always lasts for a week and includes the participation of millions of entrepreneurs, investors, policymakers, researchers, educators, entrepreneurship support organizations, and other individuals and organizations interested in entrepreneurship. Around 160 countries currently celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week regularly by running national campaigns that generate approximately 35,000 events, activities, and competitions focused on entrepreneurs and what they do.
Here in Split, Global Entrepreneurship Week is celebrated by a variety of events organized by Student Business Incubator. They are also active in promoting entrepreneurship throughout the year. Another organization that actively promotes entrepreneurship in our local community is, of course, Split Tech City. Be it the STC Motivational Conference or the Festival of Technology and Entrepreneurship, as two events of a larger scale, or the well-known Open Coffee Split meetup that happens on a more regular basis, we do our best to promote and encourage entrepreneurship throughout our community.
So, who exactly are we celebrating during this week and why? We will start with who entrepreneurs are and then we will easily come to all the reasons why they should be celebrated.
Although entrepreneurs have existed throughout history in one way or another, they only recently became popular figures in our modern society. Entrepreneurship has grown in popularity quite a lot throughout the last few decades as the appearance of various tech companies (hardware, software, etc.) has made more and more people enamored with the idea of becoming entrepreneurs.
Unlike traditional professions, where there is often a defined path to follow, the road to becoming an entrepreneur is still rather mystifying to most. What works for one entrepreneur might not work for the other and vice versa. That being said, there are some general steps that most, if not all, successful entrepreneurs have followed.
It is true that some entrepreneurs may have built successful businesses while being less than financially affluent. However, starting with an adequate cash supply and ensuring ongoing funding can only help an aspiring entrepreneur in their venture.
In any area of life building a diverse set of skills and applying those skills is beneficial. Entrepreneurship is no different. Once a diverse skill set is built, it gives an entrepreneur a toolkit that they can rely on when they are faced with the inevitability of tough situations.
“Wait for no one – create your own opportunities!”Marko Prljić, design director at ConsenSys
Though going through university-level education is not necessary to build a successful business, it can teach young individuals a lot about the world in many other ways. It is not true that majoring in entrepreneurship is necessary to start a business. There are successful entrepreneurs who have built successful businesses that have dropped out of university or have majored in different subjects.
Taking a different educational path, be it self-improvement through learning, or a completely different university course than what you end up doing in the end, can open your eyes to a different way of thinking which in turn can help you in establishing your business.
It is a no-brainer that a company’s product or service needs to solve a specific issue – either for another business or a consumer group. By identifying this problem, an aspiring entrepreneur should have the starting point from which to build a business around by solving that problem.
An idea to consider is trying to identify a problem to solve by looking at various other industries as an outsider. It can provide an aspiring entrepreneur with the ability to see a problem others might not.
No matter what they do, successful companies always have one thing in common: they solve a specific problem for other companies or the public. No product or service will make a company successful if it does not bring value to the end-user.
Only by adding value through offering a solution to a problem does an entrepreneurial venture of any kind become successful.
Most entrepreneurs do not succeed completely alone. The business world is not a walk in the park and getting any help you are able to get will always aid you in the long run and reduce the time it takes to achieve success with your intended business. Networking is critical for any new entrepreneur.
Meeting the right people that can introduce you to contacts in your industry, such as the right suppliers, financiers, and even mentors, can be the difference between success and failure. Community is a powerful tool that will help you get out into the world even more which makes conducting a business a lot easier.
Every entrepreneur needs to be a leader within their company. A leader needs to work hard, motivate, and inspire their employees to reach their best potential. This, in turn, will result in the success of the company. Simply doing the day-to-day requirements will not lead to success – entrepreneurs always go the extra mile!
This relatively short and quite generalized list above gives you just the tip of the metaphorical iceberg that makes an entrepreneur. However, even going through this simple list also makes it quite clear that not everyone can do it because it does get difficult out there in the real world. But should you feel like this might be your path, then we wholeheartedly encourage you to go for it!
“The worst thing you can do is not make a decision. Not doing is the greatest mistake!”Đulijano Nola, co-founder of CrnoJaje, GoHome, OsigurajMe, GammaChef, and Bots&Pots
As we learned from various FuckUp panels, one thing that all entrepreneurs have in common is the fact that they kept standing up after being knocked down in their metaphorical business fight until they stopped being knocked down and could continue standing. Perseverance, patience, and belief in oneself are of utmost importance in the entrepreneurial world.
After all, entrepreneurs do end up being the ones who drive others forward with their ventures. We think this gives us more than enough reasons to spend a week celebrating entrepreneurs and bringing to attention everything they do!
Article cover photo: Đulijano Nola, co-founder of CrnoJaje, GoHome, OsigurajMe, GammaChef, and Bots&Pots, giving a lecture at the Festival of Technology and Entrepreneurship