Erin Ouzts, Upstate Entrepreneur Ecosystem Director

    Global Entrepreneurship Week is even more important this year as we celebrate the small, large, starting and growing businesses and their owners that have worked tirelessly to keep employees and provide all of us with the products and services we need.

    The week of November 16-22, 2020, Global Entrepreneurship Week, is an annual celebration of entrepreneurship organized by the Global Entrepreneurship Network.  The Upstate Entrepreneur Ecosystem (UEE) launched Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) activities in November 2018 as a way for Upstate communities to celebrate their local businesses and connect to the entire Upstate through a common theme and brand.

    In 2020, Upstate communities are focusing activities on more virtual celebrations and other non-event ways to honor entrepreneurs.  We are asking local city and county councils to proclaim a resolution to support GEW, their local business owners and the many support organizations that guide them.    Ask your Mayor or County Council leader if they are aware of this.  If not, download a template resolution here and contact Justine Allen for more information.

    Upstate universities are celebrating and competing with colleges, universities and technical schools statewide on the first ever SC Innovates Pitch Competition.  Beyond student participation, multiple entrepreneur advisors and mentors around the state are judging the entries, bringing two different groups together for the common purpose of celebrating GEW.

    USC Upstate will have the first ever international sharing of ideas with entrepreneurs and innovators as they host Universidad Latina De Costa Rica in a virtual panel discussion.  CommunityWorks is partnering with USC Upstate to host another panel discussion, this one on Supporting Black Women-owned Business:  Innovative Strategies for Growth and Overcoming Challenges.

    Furman Innovation and Entrepreneurship will host the final Paladin Pivot:  Connecting with Your Customers Faster and More Efficiently during Global Entrepreneurship Week.  They were also instrumental in launching the SC Innovates Pitch Competition.  Other events will be included in the UpstateVibe356 calendar.

    InnoVision Awards is hosting their annual awards celebration during GEW.  This is the premier innovation awards recognition in South Carolina.  Register here.

    The South Carolina Community Loan Fund’s Investing in Community Summit Series:  Resources for South Carolina’s Small Businesses will host a statewide panel discussion with the moderator and 2 panelists from the Upstate.

    In 2018, the UEE celebrated with gatherings, panel discussions, speakers, and social media promotions of local entrepreneurs.  2019 continued that success with multiple events spread over the Upstate.  Here is a link to the USC Upstate Johnson College of Business video of their 2018 GEW activities.

    In 2020, the Director of the State Office of Innovation in the State Department of Commerce, Laura Corder, became an official State Coordinator through GEN and has local coordinators within the state facilitating activities.  Celebrations are spreading throughout the state, so much so, that we now have our own Global Entrepreneurship Week South Carolina log!

    GEW is about more that the Upstate and South Carolina.  Events occur all over the world and are more accessible than ever this year with so many going virtual.  Access the global GEW Events calendar here and sign up for an event today!

    According to their website, Global Entrepreneurship Week is a collection of tens of thousands of activities, competitions and events aimed at making it easier for anyone, anywhere to start and scale a company.

    This November 16 – 22, GEW 2020 will rally almost every nation in the world to empower their entrepreneurs and encourage their citizens to become starters – finding new and better ways of doing things. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and its unprecedented impact, GEW 2020 is a call to action for all societies to be resilient and come together in leveraging the power of new ideas and innovation for the benefit of all.

    GEW inspires roughly 10 million participants each year to explore their potential while fostering connections and increasing collaboration within their ecosystems to empower entrepreneurs and strengthen communities.