Despite the pandemic, around 46,800 companies were founded in Switzerland in 2020 – almost 5 per cent more than in the previous year. According to the “Global Entrepreneurship Monitor” 2020/21, the rate of young entrepreneurs in Switzerland also remained stable from 2019 to 2020, whereas the rate of “established business ownership (EBO)” in Switzerland declined significantly.
To address this decline, Global Entrepreneurship Week, initiated and by Swissparks.ch together with the University of Lausanne (UNIL) as a partner, takes place every November to raise public awareness on the importance of entrepreneurs and startups for our economy and society. The global initiative takes place for one week, intending to motivate more entrepreneurship and networking.
Last year, the organisers held over 80 events online in 14 cities and ten cantons. Thanks to the nationwide accessibility, the event resulted in a record of about 9000 virtual visitors. The two universities, such as the HUB Entrepreneuriat et Innovation (UNIL) in Lausanne and the UNIGE in Geneva, had around 1000 and 4000 participants, respectively (see report).
Over 70 events planned
For 2021, the planned 70+ events will mainly take place physically. Swissparks will host the first joint event with its German sister organisation – the Bundesverband Deutscher Innovations-, Technologie- und Gründerzentren e.V. (BVIZ) – to address the topic ‘Financing models for parks’ to demonstrate how real estate infrastructure and the operation of a park or incubator be financed.
In addition to long-standing organisers such as Fongit and Geneus, EPFL and Innovaud, Business Angels Switzerland, Business Parc Reinach and Technopark Winterthur, among others, the 20 or so GEW organizers this year also include "newcomers" like fore example the " Fondazione Agire " with the "Sintetica Innovation Award" from Ticino.
Entrepreneurial facets from French-speaking Switzerland
UNIL is taking part for the third time. As a key partner of Swissparks.ch, the university is organising 19 events for its 15,000 students over five days. The thematic focus is on innovation and the various facets of entrepreneurship (“Entrapreneuriat”). UNIL is again presenting the events “live” on its campus and via Youtube.
Under the title 'Libérez vos idées', UNIGE has planned around 30 workshops, competitions, round tables etc. during six days. They are carried out physically, hybrid and online like the virtual conference about “female entrepreneurship” on Saturday.
Alternative career opportunities for the young
In Zurich and Basel, Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) Switzerland invites young people to various events organised and supported by the University and Impact Hub Basel and local companies. The‘Youth Entrepreneurship Workshop’ takes place at the Rhine to showcase alternative career opportunities.
Visit GEW Switzerland to register for the upcoming events.