20-21 Nov: Celebrate entrepreneurship with the GEW global community

With 35,000 events across 125 countries and growing, the Global Entrepreneurship Week is the world’s largest celebration of innovators and job creators who drive the economic growth and expand our human development.

Founded in 2007 by Jonathan Ortmans, president of GEW, Carl Schramm, former president and CEO of the Kauffman Foundation, and former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, GEW pursues one goal: to inspire people everywhere to take the next step in bringing their ideas to life.

This year, GEW Maastricht will be back on 20-21 November with an exciting two-day programme on the theme “Beat the odds”.

On 20 November, the Local Heroes Business Plan Competition Ceremony will once again support and encourage entrepreneurship in the region of Limburg by awarding 10,000 euro seed money to the most innovative business idea and best business plan submitted by students. The event is the result of a collaboration between the Limburg University Fund and the Maastricht Centre for Entrepreneurship.

On 21 November, the GEW Conference will gather representatives from prominent organisations such as the World Economic Forum and the European Commission’s Startup Manifesto, entrepreneurs and investors to discuss entrepreneurship from a European perspective. The GEW Maastricht team has selected innovators who are already shaping the world and game changers who are redefining the way business is done today.

Starting from the odds that most entrepreneurs are doomed to fail, the GEW Maastricht team has put together a day of inspiring talks to celebrate successful entrepreneurs, share trade practices and inspire young entrepreneurs to give entrepreneurship a try.

Luca Botticelli, founder of the first independent shoemaking community, will be one of the Game Changers who will speak at the conference. Fred Klinkert is another outstanding entrepreneur who is revamping Youtailor after a broad work experience at firms such as Capgemini, McKinsey & Company, KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Booz & Company, Ernst & Young and Rocket Internet.

Jan Scheele, serial entrepreneur, Maastricht University alumnus and organiser of TEDx events worldwide will also join and inspire students to make an impact. He will stress the importance of taking the path less travelled and disrupting the way business is done nowadays. Give me one name of a successful entrepreneur who took the straightforward, paved road to achieve success. Indeed,” Sheele said in an interview with the GEW team.

Video impression: Global Entrepreneurship Week Maastricht 2012

Rabobank Maastricht en Omstreken will also be featured in the programme with the RaboTop Club Pioneers, an initiative aimed at helping and encouraging young entrepreneurs in the region. The organisation will showcase local pioneers who have already made a difference. As an additional incentive to motivate young students to give entrepreneurship a try, the Rabo Top Club is giving 100 entrance tickets for free (for students only).

“The Rabo Top Club facilitates a professional network for entrepreneurial professionals. We share our knowledge by organising events on specific themes, such as: economic forecasts, finance & accounting, rules & legislations.
 Supporting (young) entrepreneurs is essential for the economic development of the region. On 20 January we will organise a New Year’s event for all entrepreneurs in the region, so stay tuned! ” says Dionne Neven, project coordinator at Rabobank Maastricht en Omstreken.

To end the day, Prof. Mark Post, the creator of the first in-vitro burger, will join the conference for an interactive talk as part of the Limburg Magnet College Tour. This session is meant to connect students and young entrepreneurs with innovators in the region. This will be a great opportunity to gain insight into this innovative project that has gained global attention.

All in all, the GEW Maastricht aims to bring together the most ambitious young entrepreneurs in the region for a day of networking and inspiration.

“”Entrepreneurs have gained widespread recognition for their prowess in changing our society. It’s exciting to follow their ‘visionary journey’ and learn more about how each of us can have an economic and social impact through entrepreneurship,” said Niklas Schwake, President of the GEW’13 team.

“Beat the odds, be brave and bold, start now!”


By Ana Mihail
Chief Inspiration Officer at Maastricht Centre for Entrepreneurship


Register for the Global Entrepreneurship Week Maastricht now!


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