A Week for the Dreamers
Global Entrepreneurship Week was the week for the dreamers. A week for the risk takers—the people with creative, original ideas that many thought would never succeed. It was a time to honor those to whom average was never an option, sleep was a thing of the past, and perseverance was a collective middle name.
Founded by the Kauffman Foundation and Enterprise UK in 2008, Global Entrepreneurship Week has encouraged more than 10 million people in 102 countries to “unleash” their ideas. It encourages people to “embrace innovation, imagination and creativity… To think big and to turn their ideas into reality.”
At FedEx, we celebrate the ingenuity and creativeness of people. We know that our society needs the dreamers—the entrepreneurs—to grow small businesses and to strengthen our economy. An overwhelming majority of our customers are small business owners, many successful entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneurship is at our roots. FedEx began as an idea that grew from the mind and aviation experience of Frederick Smith, our chairman, president, and CEO. Smith seized the opportunity to capitalize on new, innovative methods of distribution. His idea became our success.
FedEx supports entrepreneurship in a host of ways, including our work with Junior Achievement, the largest global non-profit dedicated to helping students prepare for tomorrow’s workforce via entrepreneurship. Since 2008, we’ve sponsored the Junior Achievement Company of the Year Competitions, where students who have created real businesses and made real profits compete to be the best. In 2011, the competition will be in Europe, North America, Latin America, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa.
At every competition, we present the FedEx Access Award to the student-run company that exhibits the best understanding of the importance of global access. The 2010 North American FedEx Access Award winner, “The Green Dream,” hosted a successful eco-friendly trade show, marketed and sold “green” t-shirts, and offered the best business plan with the potential to create jobs, expand global development, and improve the environment. The 2010 European Access Award went to another ingenious company, “Bolsa,” a Swedish company that made trendy handbags from vinyl flooring. These teams of young entrepreneurs have promising futures in the business world and have contributed to the growing spirit of enthusiasm toward entrepreneurs.
To celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week, FedEx and JA are reaching out to established Brazilian entrepreneurs who have agreed to “export” their advice and expertise with potential entrepreneurs—the young, hopeful students of the JA Company Program. They will connect via the JA Company Facebook application, and the Brazilian entrepreneurs will share their experiences and mentor the students as they develop and manage their own business plans. This type of hands-on tutelage is not experienced in school and is invaluable for the molding of tomorrow’s leaders.
FedEx and the JA Company Program are giving our future leaders the experience and confidence today to know that they can be successful tomorrow. The world needs creative, innovative, and driven minds to strengthen our economy and further access global markets and resources for all who want to utilize them. Global Entrepreneurship Week is a time to celebrate the old, successful ideas and encourage the new ones; FedEx wants to give Access to all by supporting new ideas and innovations.
So go ahead… dare to be just a “dreamer.”