Global entrepreneurship week has started

I have reluctantly been keeping a lazy eye on Twitter to just catch some of the flavour of what is happening. You might want to as well, follow enterpriseweek.

If you are not aware of GEW, here is a bit of blurb:

What is Enterprise Week?

Enterprise Week (17-23 November 2008), part of Global Entrepreneurship Week, is a national celebration of enterprise with thousands of events and activities happening across the UK. Last year there were over 5,000 events and more than half a million people took part!

Over 2,000 organisations run events and activities during the week to encourage people to have ideas and make them happen. This can be by starting up a new business or social enterprise, or by having ideas and making them happen in the workplace.

If you have any questions about Enterprise Week, check out our FAQs page.

What is Global Entrepreneurship week?

In 2008, Enterprise Week will be part of the first ever Global Entrepreneurship Week. It’s a worldwide celebration of enterprise, which aims to unleash young people’s enterprising ideas and address some of society’s biggest issues, from poverty reduction through to climate change. More than 70 countries are currently signed up to run their very own versions of Enterprise Week, all coming under the banner of Global Entrepreneurship Week!

As I said before, I believe that unless you have all day to watch what is going on or experience it first hand, you will quickly be lost in the energy and ideas whizzing about the place (through a groaning website). I will keep up through checking twitter every now and again, but what I am looking forward to is the output.

Please, Oli, bless us with brilliantly served up sectoral synopsis🙂

Good luck everyone, and if you are involved, or can get involved, have a wonderful time and tell us all about it!

5 responses

  1. So here is my contribution to Enterprise Week.

    DO NOT START UP YOUR OWN BUSINESS – UNLESS YOU HAVE TO.

    Not the message that is usually put out especially by national, regional and local government but, after 25 years of running and supporting small businesses, that is my best advice. Don’t do it – unless you have to. Unless of course you have money to burn.

    Because the truth is that small business is a really hard game. You have to provide a great product or service – and one miscalculation, or one bad debt, can put you out of the game and into the bankruptcy courts. Few people succeed in business the first time they try.

    It takes resilience, persistence and courage.

    The chances of success are slim and the levels of commitment and hard work required are, in most cases, enormous.

    Your business will almost certainly steal you away from friends and family at least for the first few years, and many successful entrepreneurs talk about how much their business has cost them in terms of their relationships and health, as well as cash.

    This is the reality of entrepreneurship that needs to be taught. (Policy makers please take note. If we were this honest about the nature of entrepreneurship we might not get as many people involved in enterprise week – but a far higher percentage that did get invovled would go on to be successful entrepreneurs.)

    Those that ‘have to’ start a business fall into two very different camps. The first ‘have to’ because they have no other economic option for survival. Enterprise is their ONLY option. It is the only way they can maintain their lifestyle. For those whom enterprise is a forced choice the outcome is rarely great.

    The second group ‘have to’ because it is the only way that they can have the freedom to do what they have to do, to be the person that they have to be and provide the products and services that they really have to provide. Enterprise provides them with a way of becoming the person that they feel they have to be. It is about their own identity as a human being.

    So the rallying call for enterprise week should be,

    ‘DO NOT DO IT- UNLESS YOU HAVE TO!

    Unless it is the only way for you to become the person that you really want to be’.

    And if we invested our energy into helping people to really understand who or what they want to become we might find that all of a sudden ‘enterprise’ starts to look after itself.

    Of course for those that ‘have to’ enterprise can be a wonderfully powerful vehicle to achieve remarkable results. I am not anti enterprise – quite the opposite. I just wish we could present it honestly as the double edged sword that it truly is.

  2. Mike, you are very right… the opportunity cost, the emotional and familial sacrifice is huge. I love your two categories and agree that the successes are the ones who do this because it is the only way for them to ‘become the person that they really want to be’. Although that does not lessen the pitfalls and pain that come with enterprise.

    What would be interesting would be to look at this from the ‘young peoples” point of view – as GEW is doing. I firmly believe that the sacrifices you make as a business owner or entrepreneur grow relatively according to your age/stage in life.

    Jamie Murray-Wells being a case in point, who founded Glasses Direct aged 21, does not face the same issues had he done so at 38, married with three children. (Sorry Jamie to age and categorise you so :)).

  3. The twitter doesn’t seem very active – am I missing something?

    Maybe, one year, Enterprise Week will be an open programme for everyone, instead of a centralising, inflexible and badly-organised series of limited-audience events. I wasted a day trying to attend two EW events last year – if either of them were running, I never found them. This year, there’s one open event near me.

    The website is confusing, with searches limited and unclear terms of use. Finding resources seems a bit awkward if you’re not up-to-date and buzzword-compliant (for example, “cooperative” found me nothing). Registering with EW’s website seemed to require giving all sorts of people permission to send me marketing materials. The web chats seem to be pages that auto-refresh every 45 seconds, even if the web chat is long closed.

    I’m extremely sceptical that EW is money well spent at the moment.

  4. No you are right, I have seen nothing recently on twitter, but then I have not been looking too closely. I cannot comment on your own experience as I have not been to any, I just know of them and want to see the output.

    Agree with your thoughts on the website, I always wondered how on earth they were going to share this on the web, it is way too big for a website and I hope they address this next year.

    We shall see.

    As I said, I am waiting for the output.

  5. Pingback: Social Enterprise Day: Online Discussion | Software Cooperative News

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