For the second consecutive year, Jasiri hosted the Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) in Rwanda from November 6 to 16. The GEW is a movement launched by the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) to celebrate and empower entrepreneurs in every country and community around the world. This year’s event in Rwanda was organised under the theme, “Entrepreneurship Thrives Here.” It brought together 19 partners, hosting over 25 events. The goal of GEW is to showcase and celebrate the stories of entrepreneurs who boldly take risks, develop innovative solutions, and uplift communities while highlighting Rwanda as a thriving hub for entrepreneurship. Every November, 10 million people take part in tens of thousands of activities, competitions, and events that inspire them to act and provide them with the knowledge, experience, and connections they need to succeed. GEW reaches various start-up hubs around the world and envisions one entrepreneurial ecosystem open to all. This year’s GEW brought together over 1,000 participants, attending a variety of events within the Rwandan entrepreneurship ecosystem. They included founders, investors, policymakers, educational institutions, and ecosystem builders who shared what makes Rwanda a great place to pursue entrepreneurial endeavours. The event also provided platforms to celebrate and share learnings on how to strengthen the entrepreneurial landscape. On November 7, Carnegie Mellon University Africa kicked off the week with the launch of its Entrepreneurship Club in Kigali and hosted the guest speaker, Eric Rutayisire, CEO of Charis UAS, and other key ecosystem players. They shared insights on their entrepreneurial journeys and emphasised the power of collaboration within the ecosystem and education institutions to foster innovation. On the same day, kLab Rwanda and Kigali Global Shapers jointly hosted a session themed Empowering Start-ups.” Yeetah Kamikazi, Managing Director at kLab, emphasised the importance of celebrating entrepreneurship and bringing the ecosystem together more often. University of Rwanda (UR), a key partner for GEW, organised the UR Innovation Week in collaboration with the Grid Innovation and Incubation Hub. The week consisted of conversations on student-led innovations, sustainable funding models for innovation hubs and speed-dating sessions aimed at building stronger partnerships across the innovation ecosystems. Speaking at the event, Pascal Gatabazi, a technical advisor in the Ministry of Education, stated that the week signifies a crucial juncture for UR, where creativity, knowledge, and ingenuity converge to shape the future of students. “I encourage all participants to seize this opportunity to learn from each other to collaborate across disciplines, and to explore the boundaries of their imagination,” he added. ALSO READ: UR's GIIH Innovation Week: Universities as living labs for sustainable innovation linking society, academia The entrepreneurial fervour of GEW extended to Karongi, where Inkomoko Business Development celebrated the event in Kiziba Camp. Additionally, in close collaboration with RISA, Inkomoko, and 250Startups, a business training session for young start-up founders and aspiring entrepreneurs in Musanze District, took place in one of the Musanze Hanga Hubs, bringing together over 70 participants showcasing that entrepreneurship thrives beyond the capital. As the week progressed, November 10 featured the Jasiri Talent Investor Nuru Cohort (4th Cohort) Final Demo Day, the Grid Innovation and Incubation Hub's third cohort pitching and awarding ceremony. Additionally, Westerwelle Startup Haus in partnership with Digital Africa hosted an event “Where is the Money?” featuring Babacar Seck, CEO of Digital Africa. According to the organisers, Rwanda ranked 5th in the continent this year on the level of ecosystem engagements and activities organized during the Global Entrepreneurship Week. Celebrating entrepreneurs in Kigali and the secondary cities, celebrating innovation in academic institutions, was a special touch to this year’s GEW. Towards mid-November, various events continued in Kigali as part of GEW 2023. Those include the opening ceremony of the University of Rwanda Makerspace (UniPod) on November 10, an AI Meetup on November 11 hosted by FAIR Forward-GIZ, as well as the Impact Hub Kigali's spotlight on water efficiency in food sustainability pioneers on November 12. Business Partners Network (BPN) Rwanda also hosted two events. One is Entrepreneurs' Cosy Corner, which brought together different entrepreneurs to share, connect and exchange on the entrepreneurial journeys. The second event was a seminar for entrepreneurs themed SME Trailblazers: A journey towards exceptional entrepreneurial leadership with keynote speaker Nicole Bamukunde, the Director of Vatel Rwanda. The “entrepreneurs’ cozy corner” attendees emphasised the fact that Rwanda's entrepreneurship ecosystem is supportive, but for entrepreneurs to thrive, they must think big. The ecosystem should also scale up to provide the necessary capacity. Investing in training young and energetic people is crucial for meeting the evolving requirements of the ecosystem. While Nicole Bamukunde, encouraged the entrepreneurs to craft a clear vision, create a strong foundation for their team to believe in the vision and be involved as well as to share their skills and work ethics with their team because they represent their name wherever they go next. According to Aline Kabanda, Regional Director of Allan & Gill Gray Philanthropy Rwanda, all partners who participated in hosting events during this year's Global Entrepreneurship Week play a key role in driving Rwanda's entrepreneurship ecosystem. “Coming together to celebrate, exchange, and learn from each other is an important foundation for our Entrepreneurship to thrive. We are stronger together through fostering collaborations and working together to provide the best support to our entrepreneurs.” she said. Concluding GEW 2023 on November 16, Jasiri, Africa Business Heroes and Startups Rwanda jointly hosted a networking event bringing together over 200 start-ups to network, exchange ideas and celebrate with each other. Yussouf Ntwali, the co-founder of BAG Innovation, highlighted the idea behind Startups Rwanda, a space for players in the entrepreneurial ecosystem to network. Jasiri will once again be the host country for next year's GEW. We eagerly anticipate the participation of all partners interested in hosting events and collaborating to ensure another successful GEW in 2024. About Jasiri Jasiri invests in, nurtures, and empowers entrepreneurs who benefit society and attack poverty by creating high-impact businesses, creating new markets on the African continent. Jasiri believes that entrepreneurial teams are at the heart of new venture creation and provide the entrepreneur with access to a diverse group of potential co-founders. Jasiri supports new ventures from idea generation to venture creation and takes a long-term approach to developing exceptional, responsible entrepreneurs on the African continent. Learn more at jasiri.org.