Events held for GEW
Students discuss startup options
This year, Global Entrepreneurship Week took place from Nov. 17-23. The week was dedicated to celebrating the innovators and risk-takers who followed their passion and started their own business.
Throughout the week, events and workshops were held locally, nationally and globally in order to raise awareness about the importance of entrepreneurship.
Located in the city of Waterloo, which is known to be an entrepreneurial powerhouse, Wilfrid Laurier University was heavily involved with the weeklong event.
Numerous clubs participated in GEW, hosting different events and workshops. Two events were held by Startup Laurier and Enactus Laurier, who managed to bring in influential speakers like Adam Belsher, the CEO of Magnet Forensics, and Matt Schnarr, the founder and managing partner of AWAKE Chocolate, a product of the New Venture competition in which all first-year business students participate.
The second event was Innovation Takeoff, which took place on Nov. 14. The two clubs brought in representatives from Eagles Flight, a business that specializes in training individuals to work together effectively as a team.
These two events were “a few of the largest and most impactful student-focused entrepreneurship events of the year,” said Josh Fujimagari, Laurier LaunchPad’s creative marketing leader and prime representative during GEW.
Laurier LaunchPad is an initiative that aims to help aspiring startups get up and running. Fujimagari played an important role in its involvement in the week.
“I was promoting innovation and entrepreneurship [and] connecting with campus clubs, mentors and other advisors to bring a full entrepreneurial experience to the Laurier student body and inspire them to take action,” he said.
Laurier’s school of business and economics itself is a heavy promoter of entrepreneurship.
“LaunchPad and the things that we do provide the tools and help students understand how to build an enterprise based on what they are interested in,” said Michéal Kelly, the dean of SBE.
The university offers a social entrepreneurship option new to this year.
On Nov. 12, students were treated by the Social Innovation Project to the documentary Who Cares?
“We wanted to introduce the program and introduce SIP to the Laurier community,” said William Sutter, the co-founder of SIP.
“And we thought the best way to do that was by inspiring and motivating students through the documentary.”
With over 100 attendees at GEW and the networking session, both events were deemed successful.
“GEW at Laurier was magical,” said Fujimagari.
“It was an inspirational week fueled by passionate Laurier entrepreneurs.”
Fujimagari said he learned from his entrepreneurial experiences.
“It truly takes a community to allow an entrepreneur to thrive,” he explained.
“That said, GEW is a great platform for connection and collaboration.”