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Wits University Celebrates Global Entrepreneurship Week

The University of Witwatersrand (Wits) is gearing up for a busy week in celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW), the world’s largest celebration of the innovators and job creators who launch startups that bring ideas to life, drive economic growth and expand human welfare.

During one week each November, GEW inspires people from all walks of life through local, national and global activities designed to help them take the next step in their entrepreneurial journey. These activities, from large-scale competitions and events to intimate networking gatherings, connect participants to potential collaborators, mentors and even investors, introducing them to new possibilities and exciting opportunities.

The initiative was launched in 2008 by former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Carl Schramm, the president and CEO of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.  GEW 2017 has an impressive showing in more than 160 countries, 20 000 global partners and 35,000 activities that directly engage more than 10 million people.

“GEW is a creative festival for ideas generation, innovation, knowledge sharing and, more importantly, spurring citizens - especially youth - to take responsibility for their own success,” says Chimene Chetty, Director of the Centre for Entrepreneurship (CfE) at Wits Business School.

“The events held around the world nurture creativity, showcase possibility and opportunity and share best practice and experiences, seeking to inspire entrepreneurs to successfully realise their dreams, and make an economic and social difference to the fabric of our country.”

This is the fifth year that Wits is participating in this global event, and the university’s contribution to GEW 2017 includes a number of events arranged by the Tshimologong precinct and the CfE.

The CfE will host two evening events: on 14 November is the screening of The Rise of the Entrepreneur, a documentary produced by Eric Worre which explores the ways in which entrepreneurs view work and wealth, and use technology to create exponential growth for their businesses.  There will be a post-documentary discussion hosted by ‘serial entrepreneur’ Jerome Keshwar.  On 15 November the Centre will be hosting a panel discussion to address the question: “Are entrepreneurial programmes really creating the desired growth or having the intended impact?” The discussion will be based on a recent study on entrepreneurs in Johannesburg.

Tshimologong, Wits’ innovation hub, is hosting a daily programme for the week themed Industry 4.0 Entrepreneurship in the New Digital Landscape.  Events focus on Industry 4.0, the integrated ecosystem of the Internet of Things (IoT) and how Artificial Intelligence (AI) is already changing the way we communicate, consume and produce, presenting new opportunities for innovation.

Planned activities at Tshimologong include IOT workshops, data science master classes, Artificial Intelligence/Virtual Reality clinics, and lean business sessions, including a pitching competition where winners stand a chance to win Tshimologong membership (which includes access to co-working facilities, technology and business development programmes and legal advisory, among others).

To register, please visit www.tshimologong.joburg/GEW  

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