5 Programs that Inspire Innovation and Entrepreneurship Around the World

What if there was a global movement to inspire people everywhere to unleash their ideas and take the next step in their entrepreneurial journey? That question sparked the launch of Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) five years ago. This week, as 138 countries celebrate, the Institute takes a look at what we have been doing to generate innovation and entrepreneurship around the globe.

Throughout its history, IIE has been helping people uncover their full potential so that they can have the tools to create innovative solutions for their local communities as well as beyond their borders. Through our private-public partnerships, IIE’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation programs focus on building capacity in leadership training, social enterprise development and the recognition of outstanding efforts in the field of entrepreneurship and innovation.

In honor of Global Entrepreneurship Week, here are a few highlights of the past year:

  • In July, we brought 30 Bulgarian students to participate in a 5-week intensive entrepreneurship training program, sponsored by the America for Bulgaria Foundation. Now in its fifth year, these students have gone on to develop small business enterprises and entrepreneurship networks back home in Bulgaria.
  • Through the Emerging Market Development Advisors Program, in 2013 we placed U.S. graduate students and recent graduates with non-profit, business, private sector, public policy, and international relations related backgrounds in local organizations in USAID-assisted countries to provide technical assistance.
  • Fifty-six undergraduate college students from Brazil, China, Russia, India, and the United States were selected as the first class of Cargill Global Scholars. These students will participate in leadership development and enrichment activities designed to equip them with tools to help them become leaders and decision makers in their chosen fields.
  • For the third consecutive year, as part of an initiative through the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) IIE administered an enrichment seminar for approximately 70 Fulbright students from Afghanistan. Fulbrighters came together with thought leaders and faculty at the Farmer School of Business at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, for the 2013 Fulbright Social Entrepreneurship Seminar for Afghan Students.
  • In October, 78 women from African and Middle East participated in the TechWomen Program in Silicon Valley. An initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, TechWomen empowers, connects and supports the next generation of women leaders in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) from Africa and the Middle East.

As we celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week, we invite you to learn more about our work in entrepreneurship and our network, and to share your activities on #GEW2013.