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Global Entrepreneurship Week Launches In Rwanda

For the first time Rwanda will participate in GEW and is co-hosted by the Babson-Rwanda Entrepreneurship Center and its Babson alumni directors Chris Smith and Ben Cox.

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Kigali, Rwanda – (November 11, 2011) – For the first time ever, Rwanda will participate in Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW), taking place from November 14th to 20th. During this one week, partner organizations in 123 countries will host a series of activities and events designed to promote entrepreneurial activity around the world.

In Rwanda’s inaugural year, 21 organizations will host 27 events that will inspire youth to launch new businesses, connect important groups of stakeholders from the public, private, and civil societies, and introduce new ideas and exciting opportunities to the week’s participants. The week is meant to generate a groundswell of energy and support for entrepreneurship that will help a new generation of innovators to create jobs, fuel economic growth, and expand human welfare.

The calendar of events for GEW-Rwanda, hosted nationally by the Babson-Rwanda Entrepreneurship Center, includes a wide array of activities that will engage a broad audience. The events range from a seven-stop Entrepreneurship Awareness Campaign organized by the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) to a roundtable discussion on startup law with lawyers from Kamanzi, Ntaganira & Associates. Other notable partners include the Embassy of the Unites States, the Rwanda Private Sector Federation (PSF), and Junior Chamber International (JCI).

“I am very proud of the lineup of activities and the impressive collection of local partners for Rwanda’s inaugural Global Entrepreneurship Week. This week will spark a renewed vigor for innovation and business ownership in the country as well as shine an international spotlight on the ways in which entrepreneurship is shaping the Rwanda of tomorrow,” said Christopher Smith of the Babson-Rwanda Entrepreneurship Center.

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Christopher Smith, Country Director, Babson-Rwanda Entrepreneurship Center, & Babson 09', GEP 10', Yvette Mukarwema, Acting CEO, Private Sector Federation of Rwanda, and Benjamin Cox, Country Director, Babson-Rwanda Entrepreneurship Center, & Babson 10', in Kigali, Rwanda.

Faustin Mbundu, Chairman of the Rwanda Private Sector Federation (PSF) said, “Global Entrepreneurship Week comes at an ideal time for Rwanda, when we are looking to innovative private enterprises to drive our country forward. At this time we must support the next generation of business leaders and provide them with the inspiration, mentorship, and other resources that they need to turn their ideas into reality.”

To see the full list of GEW-Rwanda events and to learn more about the national campaign, visit www.gewrwanda.org and follow @gewrwanda on Twitter.

About Babson-Rwanda Entrepreneurship Center

GEW is proudly hosted in Rwanda by the Babson-Rwanda Entrepreneurship Center (BREC). BREC was formed in 2010 through a unique partnership between Babson College in Wellesley, Mass. (USA) and the Rwanda Private Sector Federation (PSF).

Since its inception, BREC has engaged in a number of activities aimed at advancing entrepreneurship in Rwanda, including research, trainings, workshops, business plan development, coaching, and consulting services.

BREC works intimately with experts from both Babson College and PSF to develop and deliver valuable services to a wide spectrum of stakeholders in Rwanda‘s entrepreneurship ecosystem, including students, business leaders, government agencies, universities, and other not-for-profit organizations. The Center is staffed by Babson employees and is housed within the PSF headquarters in Kigali, Rwanda.

About Global Entrepreneurship Week

During one week each November, thousands of activities around the world inspire millions to engage in entrepreneurial action while connecting them to potential mentors, collaborators and investors. In three short years, Global Entrepreneurship Week has expanded to more than 100 countries—empowering nearly 20 million people through 95,000 activities. Powered by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the initiative is supported by dozens of world leaders and a growing network of 24,000 partner organizations. For more information, visit www.unleashingideas.org and follow @unleashingideas on Twitter.

For more information about Global Entrepreneurship Week or to schedule an interview, please call the Babson-Rwanda Entrepreneurship Center at +250 (0)782 835 578/96 or email gewrwanda@gmail.com.

By Nancy Sullivan, 781-239-4623, sullivann@babson.edu | 11/11/2011 11:00 AM