Preparations are in high gear for Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar to take part in the Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) 2012, it has been announced.
The Global Entrepreneurship Week planning team has chosen Zanzibar Association for Youth Education and Empowerment (ZAYEE) to host the first GEW Tanzania initiative geared to empower young entrepreneurs all over the country and presented under the theme “Amsha Uwezo Wako” or ‘Awaken Your Potential’ in English.
The initiative is considered the largest celebration of innovators and job creators, where start-ups are encouraged and empowered to drive economic growth and improve the quality of life for all.
The initiative kicked off in 2008 and directly engages more than seven million people in 35,000 events, activities and competitions each November.
“Entrepreneurship is what will take Tanzania to be an economic giant to reckon with across the globe. We have all the potential, we have all the resources in the land and sea-- what we lack is the spirit of entrepreneurship being embedded in our lifestyles and culture,” Omar Said Shaaban, the Vice-Chairman and co-founder of ZAYEE said.
He said GEW Tanzania is part of a global initiative within an international network of over 125 countries dedicated to advancing and empowering young entrepreneurs.
“From Zanzibar to the shores of Lake Victoria and Tanganyika, in every corner of the land, we want to make a rallying call to youth to nurture their talents for entrepreneurship,” he added.
The one week initiative set for November 12 to 18, 2012 will mobilize youth in an effort to awaken their potential.
"A new generation of startups and the entrepreneurs who lead them are emerging to do good - and do well," said Jonathan Ortmans, president of Global Entrepreneurship Week. "In one week, we introduce the notion of entrepreneurial activity to those who have never considered it as a possibility in their lifetime.”
Calling for the government and the private sector to support youth power in entrepreneurship, Shaaban said GEW Tanzania can change the course of the nation for the good.
“This nationwide event is targeted at identifying and enhancing youths' natural talents through empowerment, access to resources that will nurture their academic, professional, social and interpersonal skills,” said Shaaban.
Noting that over 70 per cent of the population in Tanzania are youth under the age of 35 and children, it is paramount for the majority populace to be aware of the changing global economic trends and be prepared to take entrepreneurship not as the alternative to paid employment but as the best alternative.
“The government and private sector in the last ten years or so has been unable to absorb many university graduates,” added Shaaban. “We are already in a job crisis. We must act positively now by inspiring the youth to explore their potential as self-starters and innovators.”
Shaaban said ZAYEE was looking for partnership with the government, agencies, businesses, business leaders and academics in order to make the event a huge success.
The host of the début GEW Tanzania is the Zanzibar Association for Youth Education and Empowerment (ZAYEE), a non-profit organization launched in June 2010. ZAYEE's objective is to enhance the potential and talent of Tanzania's youth through initiatives that empower education and promote entrepreneurship.
Partnering with non-profit, community service organisations, government departments and the private sector, ZAYEE mobilizes resources to facilitate youth engagement in wealth creation for development. Through ZAYEE, Tanzania's youth have access to consultation, counselling, educational workshops, training, conferences and seminars and symposiums.
ZAYEE is managed by an Executive Committee of dynamic young professionals and comprises of 58 members.
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 over 120 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.