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Global Entrepreneurship Week Kansas City celebrates 10 years of freeing ideas

Kansas City’s 10th annual Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) will bring over 150 events to the city between November 13-19th. This year’s GEWKC will be the largest ever.

“Global Entrepreneurship Week inspires the makers, the doers and the dreamers and connects them to our local business community,” said Nathan Kurtz, senior program officer in entrepreneurship at the Kauffman Foundation. “Last year, more than 12,000 folks came out for GEWKC, and we anticipate this year to be even bigger as we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the event.”

GEWKC is a collaborative, open-sourced environment in which local organizations create and host events that provide opportunities to network with current and aspiring business owners, brainstorm new ideas and hear from top thought leaders and corporations.

“The corporate community is really engaged and that’s unusual from past events. They’re really diving in,” said Kurtz. “It benefits them on the innovation side, but it benefits the entire community by [recognizing] talent.”

The international celebration of innovators, startup launchers and job creators was created by the Kauffman Foundation in 2008 and has since expanded to more than 160 countries.

“GEWKC connects people who may not identify as ‘entrepreneurs’ – those who may think of themselves as makers, creators, freelancers, artists, business owners – with the spark, networks and support they need to start and grow businesses,” said Jenny Miller, network builder at KCSourceLink.

Attendees can select events from one of four tracks: Business Growth, Business Services, Makers and Creators, and Youth Entrepreneurship.

“The whole point of GEW was to let people know about the opportunities through entrepreneurship and this year, we really focused on bringing in new audiences to GEW for poeple who may not even identify with entrepreneurship or as an entrepreneur,” said Sarah Mote, KCSourcelink Marketing Director. “We’ve really tailored the events in such a way where there is something truly for everyone and it reaches all different kinds of audiences.”

GEWKC will begin Nov. 13 and is headquartered at Plexpod Westport Commons. All events at Plexpod are free, as are most that take place out in the community.

“This year we made a concerted effort to have most of the events in the same space. Plexpod Westport Commons is hosting about 75% of the events,” said Kurtz. “There are still events all over the metro, but a lot of the week is going to be in one spot to make it easier for entrepreneurs and those interested in entrepreneurship to gather and learn together.”

Highlighted Events

A full schedule of events can be found at GEWKC.org.

“Kansas is good about doing entrepreneurship 24/7,” said Mote. “We’re all committed to making entrepreneurship just a little bit easier and introducing people to it.

Organizers emphasize that everyone is welcome, there’s no formal invitation or past entrepreneurial experience needed in order to participate. The whole week is about engaging the community with free resources and events.

“We believe in growing our own here in Kansas City, in helping businesses that start here, stay here,” said Miller. “With a record number of GEWKC events, the business community has really shown its support as it shares its knowledge and networks with other KC startups and businesses.”

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