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Forget “Movember”—this month is all about entrepreneurship. The entire month has been designated "National Entrepreneurship Month" by President Obama and there are a number of activities this month that put entrepreneurs center stage.
Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) takes place November 16-22, 2015. This year GEW will be celebrated in over 160 countries, up from 150 only last year, and involve approximately 10 million people across the globe. Founded in 2008 by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, GEW seeks to be “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.” And, with over 25,000 events scheduled for the 2015 GEW, it appears that this ambition is being realized.
There also are a number of days specifically dedicated to small businesses or business owners.
On November 19, the United Nations in New York City hosts the second annual Global Women’s Entrepreneurship Day (WED). Billed by the organizers as "the world’s largest celebration of women innovators and job creators launching startups; bringing ideas to life, driving economic growth, and expanding human welfare" the entire program will be live-streamed to 144 countries. But, this is more than just one “feel good” day. The organizers take their slogan “Empower, Support and Celebrate Women Entrepreneurs Worldwide” seriously. A number of initiatives, such as the Certified Women in Business (CWB) program and a microloan program, are designed to support women-owned businesses throughout the year.
National Entrepreneur Month closes, fittingly, with Small Business Saturday on November 29. We’ll be talking more about that next week.
So, how can you embrace all this entrepreneurship love? Here are three suggestions.
Celebrate yourself and your business. Throw yourself a party and invite all of your customers. In the spirit of the hobbits who give other people gifts on their birthdays, offer an appreciation gift to your customers. A celebration includes sharing stories. Share yours on social media. Post the vision that prompted you to start your business, highlights along the way and your business goals for the future.
Get ready to take your business to the next level. An increasing number of universities, colleges and communities colleges are offering courses on entrepreneurship. Many of these courses are offered by an Entrepreneurship center, the Jake Jabs Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Colorado Denver or Miami Entrepreneurship Center. An internet search for entrepreneurship program and your home state should help you locate resources near you. And, a search for mooc entrepreneurship will return a wealth of online opportunities. (MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Course and MOOCs enable people throughout the world to attend top-tier courses online…for free.) If you are still in the contemplation stage of business, look for business incubators and start-up weekends near you
Start to build your network of mentors and like-minded entrepreneurs. Scour LinkedIn for active communities in your business or geographical area. Join the groups and then join the conversations. In addition to opportunities offered by incubators and college programs, there are nearly one thousand Small Business Centers that offer no-cost business consulting and low-cost training on all phases of business.
Congratulations to all entrepreneurs and business founders. Make this November memorable by celebrating your business achievement and preparing for future success.