Both entrepreneurship and participation of women in the workforce are powerful accelerators for sustainable economic growth, yet women continue to remain as one of the most untapped resources in the world. Providing new networks and better access to capital can help women entrepreneurs overcome barriers along their path to success and encourage others to follow their path. Global Entrepreneurship Week celebrates entrepreneurship in its different shapes and forms each year, and one of the main themes for 2016 is #GEWWomen.
GEW Women events celebrate female entrepreneurs, investors and others in the space while offering opportunities to expand their networks, identify resources and share knowledge with women around the world. For those looking for inspiration for women entrepreneurship events, there are a number of exciting GEW Women events organized by Global Entrepreneurship Network host organizations and their partners in Cyprus, Germany, Kosovo, Moldova, Nigeria and Turkey.
Enterprise Development Centre in Pan Atlantic University, the GEW host organization in Nigeria along with their partners such as the African Business Angels Network, have drawn an impressive GEW agenda. During GEW Nigeria, ABAN will be hosting Alex Krause, program officer in research and policy at the Kauffman Foundation.
The Kauffman Foundation is the organization that powers Global Entrepreneurship Week and Krause runs Kauffman’s women’s research agenda in terms of demographic research – working to find intersections for both research and programs in closing the gender gap. Krause will participate as a guest speaker in several GEW Nigeria events, details will soon be announced on GEW Nigeria country page.
EDC hosts the main event for women entrepreneurship in Lagos “Enterprise Women's Day” which takes place on Wednesday, Nov. 16. The event has been running for several years in a row, and this year’s featured theme is Mompreneurs: “The Balancing Act.”
She Leads Africa, a GEW event partner, is hosting a Demo Day for their 2016 She Leads Africa Accelerator on November 20 in Lagos, Nigeria. Demo Day is a public demonstration for investors, corporates senior executives and the press to get to know SLA’s most recent accelerator startups. The SLA Accelerator is a three-month program designed to identify, support and fund the next generation of Nigeria’s brightest female entrepreneurs.
Women entrepreneurship events are not only limited to Lagos. Another exciting event takes place in Port Harcourt on Nov. 19, organized by the Center for Youth Entrepreneurship Development, another GEW event partner in Nigeria. CENYED believes in the importance of recognizing and addressing the issue of gender equality to achieve sustainable economic growth and fight poverty.
CENYED wants young people to have different kind of role models to look up to in order to have the awareness that skills, especially entrepreneurial skills, can in fact be much more glamorous than focusing simply on looks. Hence, they took the traditional concept of a pageant, stripped off the “beauty” focus, turned it into an entrepreneurial competition, kept the glamour factor and came up with GEW “Miss Enterprise Nigeria Initiative.” Kudos to the organizer of the event, CENYED, for successfully combining two of the GEW themes for 2016, #GEWWomen and #GEWYouth, in one ambitious not-for-profit and social enterprise project.
The GEW Miss Enterprise Nigeria Initiative event is designed as an annual event to celebrate SMEs and engage the private sector, civil societies and governments to take advantage of the huge opportunities and mutual benefits from working in partnerships to help set up young people in business. The aim is to cultivate, inspire and connect the entrepreneurial potential of young women and youth into Nigeria’s mainstream entrepreneurial ecosystem. The event strives to create a hybrid of business, glamour and charitable trust to support young women in SMEs and positively influence young people through raising awareness; developing and empowering entrepreneurially minded young women to overcome funding and social capital obstacles in starting and managing SMEs. The event is on Nov. 19, and for more information click here.
The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, the GEW host organization in Germany plans several women entrepreneurship events during GEW Germany 2016. The main activity for women entrepreneurship takes place on 17 November, it is a telephone hotline, which women can call and ask questions about starting a business and becoming an entrepreneur. Callers will be able to talk to women entrepreneurs who are part of the initiative, “FRAUEN unternehmen,” which was created by the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy in 2014.
Under the initiative, successful female entrepreneurs were selected to act as role models for women entrepreneurship. The selected women entrepreneurs come from all over Germany. They include one-woman businesses as well as women entrepreneurs who employ several hundred staff. The telephone hotline allows any women considering becoming an entrepreneur to get advice on that day, and provides an opportunity for women to seek advice even if they cannot attend a typical in-person consultancy appointment or seminar
There are also other women entrepreneurship focused events taking place around the country during GEW Germany. “Gründerinnenprojekt“ takes place in Leipzig on 15 November consists of two different workshops, one focusing on the financial aspect of entrepreneurship the other on issues concerning women entrepreneurs coming from a migrant background.
There is a meetup for women entrepreneurs from Potsdam on Nov. 16. The theme of the event is “Being Your Own Boss as a Woman Entrepreneur.” The event features speakers, a panel discussion, presentations of women networks as well as women entrepreneurs who talk about their experiences. Speakers will come from the University Potsdam, the Union of German Women Entrepreneurs (Verband deutscher Unternehmerinnen) and others.
The Women Entrepreneurs Association of Turkey (KAGIDER), a GEW partner organization in Turkey, will launch their Compass Project during GEW Turkey 2016. KAGIDER’s Compass Project aims to increase the number of women entrepreneurs and participation of women in the workforce. The Compass Project is an online platform where Turkish women can find a wide range of entrepreneurial-related resources, including for example specific training courses such as “I am Establishing My Business.” This particular module provides information and data for new entrepreneurs, inspirational success stories and support for accessing finance. KAGIDER partnered with Isik University to establish this online portal and Isik University provides all the academic and practical support to carry out the online training.
GEW Moldova features a matchmaking event on Nov. 15 for bringing together established women entrepreneurs and young women with entrepreneurial potential – as identified by Technovation Challenge. Each young entrepreneur will be introduced to and connected with an experienced peer.
GEW Cyprus will organize a conference on Women Entrepreneurship that will take place on Nov. 16, at the European University. The conference features many high level speakers such as Jonathan Shelly Porge, deputy minister to the president, Peter Nathanial, former managing director of Citigroup USA, and Kathleen Doherty, the U.S. Ambassador to Cyprus.
GEW Kosovo’s event partner organization, Kosovo Women’s Business Association is responsible for the GEW Women themed event for Kosovo that will take place on Nov. 16, featuring several high-level speakers and stakeholders. The organization offers training, consultations, business planning, marketing strategies, market research, human resources and operational management services for women entrepreneurs in Kosovo.