A widely-used saying in Latin America, “creativity is born from necessity” (de la necesidad nace la creatividad) may soon no longer to be applicable. With so many efforts in the region to boost high-impact entrepreneurship driven by identifying opportunities, a more relevant saying might be “creativity is born from opportunity.”
As governments throughout Latin America implement innovative schemes to empower entrepreneur growth, GEW hosts are at the forefront of the movement.
Red Bolivia Emprendedora, the official GEW host organization in Bolivia, is expanding GEW activities to the ten largest cities in Bolivia this year. The scope of activities and events are divided into key topics where each day of the week is hosted by local partners who are in charge of organizing events based on the day’s theme.
- Monday - Policy Day: A day to raise awareness about specific entrepreneurship-friendly policies implemented by local governments as well as the federal government.
- Tuesday - Education Day: This day will be a collection of events and activities centered on schools, institutes and universities related to entrepreneurship.
- Wednesday - Social Entrepreneurship Day: A series of workshops on social entrepreneurship will be held on this day.
- Thursday - Environment Day: Events on Thursday will seek to raise awareness of green startup activities in Bolivia and to inspire more entrepreneurs to get involved in environmental programs the country has to offer.
- Friday - Technology Day: Friday will be a day of hackathons and other related activities.
- Saturday - Local Government Schemes/Incentives Day: Local governments will raise awareness about the schemes and incentives they can offer to support entrepreneurial activities.
- Sunday - Regional Opportunities Day: Sunday’s focus will be a workshop to outline the opportunities and advantages Bolivia offers as a country strategically placed on the border of Brazil.
Endeavor Colombia, the official GEW host organization in Colombia, has been busy strategizing with their GEW partners to make their GEW campaign even bigger in 2014 as well as preparing for the Global Entrepreneurship Congress which will be hosted by the City of Medellín in 2016. Medellín is buzzing with entrepreneurial activities in the lead up to GEC 2016 and will also play a central role in this year’s GEW activities. Follow this space for a separate blog post on Colombia coming soon.
GEW Costa Rica’s slogan this year is “Yo me la creo”, a Costa Rican expression of commitment and belief to achieve ones goals. For the fourth year in a row, Yo Emprendedor, the official GEW host organization in Costa Rica, received recognition from the government with a statement declaring GEW Costa Rica as an initiative of National and Public Interest. Ministry of Economy, Industry and Commerce (MEIC), Ministry of Public Education (MEP), and the National Training Institute (INA) are amongst the government entities, which are strategic allies for GEW. Teletica and Grupo Nación, two of the leading media companies in Costa Rica have also joined the campaign and will enforce the campaign message through different channels once the campaign, which is already active in social media, officially kicks off in September.
Yo Emprendedor’s strategy for GEW 2014 relies on three main pillars: a multi-sector organization committee, inclusive reach, and creating a central flagship event that will draw large crowds. GEW partners and allies will launch a large number of quality satellite events and activities. GEW Costa Rica will kick off the week with a main opening event, at the iconic Estadio Nacional venue, that will give an additional boost to the official GEW campaign. The opening event will feature four different types of activities:
- Formative: National and international speakers on entrepreneurship, innovation and similar subjects. Success stories, testimonies, debates, etc.
- Practical: Interactive events and innovative activities including workshops for entrepreneurs to participate and get involved partially or completely in order to develop their entrepreneurship skills and knowledge.
- Commercial: The Entrepreneur Excellency Fair, a new concept for 2014, where established entrepreneurs will compete to win a spot for one of the 150 stands available for the top ten most outstanding projects in 15 different categories.
- Cultural: Artists, musicians and performers will inspire the nation to follow their dreams and become entrepreneurs by voicing the GEW campaign message during their performances.
GEW Costa Rica has two flagship events this year, Storytellers and Entrepreneur Night. Storytellers is a monthly event starting in September where entrepreneurs and other players in the ecosystem will get together to hear success stories from national and international entrepreneurs over drinks and snacks hosted by hospitality sector partners. Entrepreneur Night is an annual casual gala event that will take place during GEW including an awards ceremony and networking opportunities with an entrepreneur museum theme that will take place at Latin America’s first Innovation and New Business Center in Ollería.
In Ecuador, where according to Global Entrepreneurship Monitor’s 2013 report one out three Ecuadorians are engaged in entrepreneurial activity, the focus of the GEW campaign is on providing substantial functional tools to aid the next generation of entrepreneurs. Fundacion Emprender, the official GEW host organization in Ecuador, is working with 40 partner organizations representing every aspect of the entrepreneurial ecosystem from academia (Escuela Politécnica de Guayaquil and Universidad Técnica del Norte) to industry (American Ecuadorian Chamber of Commerce), local government (CODECOB (Local Economic Development Agency of Bolivar Province)) and the Entrepreneurial community (IDEA Network Ecuador). New strategic partners include Yachay City of Knowledge, Impacto Quito (Community of Entrepreneurs in Quito) and Young Entrepreneurs Association of Ecuador.
This year’s GEW activities include workshops with lean startup tools, entrepreneurship culture fairs and networking events. Ecuador is also hosting two Startup Weekends during GEW. The first Startup Weekend will take place in Guayaquil where the main speaker will be one of the co-founders of Easy Taxi, a successful app in Latin America that was born out of Startup Weekend Colombia. The second Startup Weekend will be in Quito, hosted jointly by the entrepreneurial community in Quito and the Inter-American Development Bank.
EneVenezuela (Ecosistema Nacional de Emprendimiento), the official GEW host organization in Venezuela is running their GEW campaign with a focus on maximizing the impact of entrepreneurship in Venezuelan society and overcoming barriers to new firm formation. The first goal is of GEW Venezuela this year is to identify small to medium scale issues in society that can be solved through entrepreneurial initiatives. The second goal is to provide blueprints to local governments so that they can implement legislation and public policies favorable to entrepreneurship-based economic growth.
Cristina Fernandez contributed to this report.