Event profile - Skype Link-up between University of York (UK) and Zehjing University (China), 2008
For Global Entrepreneurship Week 2008, the University of York partnered with Zehjing University in China to run a video conference facilitating interaction between the students. The programme used business case studies and exercises to explore a range of topics around enterprise skills and how these can vary with cultural context.
Students were given two case studies – one based on a UK boat business, and the other on a merger between two Chinese companies. Divided into teams, they had to analyse the case studies and then share and discuss their chosen strategy and approach. The cultural differences between the students became apparent - Chinese students going for the more risky options, whilst the York students were more risk averse!
Oliver Lee, a student from York University commented: “On reflection of the course, the thing I learnt most is how different cultures, customs and values impact on businesses and strategic business decisions.”
Du, a student from Zhejiang University said: “I found that the English students’ presentations were simpler than ours. We tended to spend more time as a group looking for the ‘correct answer!”
The course was so successful, that it will be run again next year. Two York University students have even developed business plans focusing on the Chinese market as a result of what they learnt at the event.
Find out more about this collaboration at their joint website: www.nyjcee.com
Entrepreneur profile - Omar
My name is Omar and I’m a 23-year-old student studying Electrical Engineering at the public university in La Paz. I wake up at 5:00 AM every morning to deliver the newspaper across various neighbourhoods in our Capital. I earn only $56 US a month, which allows me to cover the costs of my studies and lunch every day. I come from a poor family and my parents do not make enough money themselves to maintain our family.
I became aware of Global Entrepreneurship Week through a friend and decided to get involved as a volunteer because I dream of having my own business in the future, and was delighted by the idea of learning more about becoming an entrepreneur. I rapidly got involved with the group and offered my design skills, which is my real passion. I was soon responsible for designing various marketing materials that we used to promote the Week. After my experience with the campaign, I am much more confident that I can run my own design business and I have already signed up a couple of new clients.
Country profile - Poland
The “Open Company” project, coordinated by the Junior Achievement Foundation, was the largest event of the Week. As part of the project, 66,700 children and teenagers visited 1,403 different companies to take a closer look at their operations and gain valuable enterprise experience. The young people involved represented 614 schools, which received in total 1,356 separate entrepreneurship lessons.
Other events during Global Entrepreneurship Week in Poland included various conferences and workshops, an online stock-exchange game, fashion shows, a Monopoly Tournament and a City Parade for the Entrepreneurial.
Global Entrepreneurship Week Poland was supported by Deputy Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak and was coordinated by a coalition of organizations including the Youth Forum of the Polish Confederation of Private Employers Lewiatan, Junior Achievement Foundation, FOR Foundation, SAR Association of Marketing Communication, University of Information Technology and Management in Rzesnow.
Global Entrepreneurship Week Argentina involved more than 140 events taking place in 9 provinces across the country. The British Embassy in Buenos Aires also contributed to the Week at the public opening and by hosting a closing reception.
Andrew Jackson, the British Charge, who gave the keynote address at the launch of GEW Argentina at the University of Buenos Aires, spoke of Gordon Brown's vision in first launching Enterprise Week, and now Global Entrepreneurship Week. His speech highlighted the need now, more thane ver, for young entrepreneurs, as well as the importance of entrepreneurs in the global economy--particularly the powerful role women entrepreneurs can play and the opportunities opening up to all entrepreneurs in new technologies such as climate change.
More profiles coming soon!