The Junior World Entrepreneurship Forum (JWEF) is a global initiative, derived from the World Entrepreneurship Forum, launched in 2008 by EMLYON Business School and later joined by ACE Action Community for Entrepreneurship, Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, ONLYLYON and Zhejiang University. The Junior World Entrepreneurship Forum consists of local or national events held over 2-4 days all over the world, gathering young entrepreneurs and students to discuss the topics that were raised during the World Entrepreneurship Forum and create a youth vision to align with these objectives. There is a global online platform where young people can connect, learn, collaborate internationally and contribute to ideas. Representatives from the Junior World Entrepreneurship Forum also attend the World Entrepreneurship Forum’s annual meeting in order to feedback on the ideas and insights from the worldwide JWEF events.
The objective of the Junior World Entrepreneurship Forum is to promote and accelerate youth entrepreneurship globally as a way to create wealth and social justice, to prepare the world for 2050. The Junior World Entrepreneurship Forum is a great opportunity for young aspiring entrepreneurs and change makers to come together across the world and take part in workshops, networking sessions and be inspired by talks and workshops on a range of different topics.
Highlights from Junior World Entrepreneurship Forum 2014
With the first event launched by EMLYON Business School and KPMG in Shanghai in 2008, the event has now truly launched on the international stage. In 2014, Junior World Entrepreneurship Forum global events took place across France, China, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Turkey, Sri Lanka, Iran, Tanzania, Hong Kong, Indonesia and Argentina throughout the year, gathering over 10,000 students. The events, organised by various local universities in each country provided a platform for young people to network with local entrepreneurs, develop their own entrepreneurial initiatives with a pitch competition and gain essential entrepreneurship knowledge and skills through talks and workshops given by successful and inspiring entrepreneurs. For some events like Istanbul, Sri Lanka and Indonesia, who hosted their first Junior World Entrepreneurship Forum this year, the event represents a huge leap forward in opportunities and awareness of youth entrepreneurship.
This year’s World Entrepreneurship Forum took place in Lyon, France in October 2014 with the theme of ‘Entrepreneurship 3:0 Unlimited Opportunities.’ Representatives from the JWEF attended the many workshops and talks given by company founders, executives, academic and political decision-makers, financiers and investors and representatives from global institutions and NGOs. This year’s talks focused on cooperative entrepreneurship and the entrepreneur’s place in the future. The WEF 2014 also saw the first ‘World Entrepreneurship Forum Crowd’s Den’ where start-ups could pitch to a live audience to generate crowdfunding investment. The event culminated in a special gala dinner to present the 2014 ‘Entrepreneur for the World’ Awards across four categories: business entrepreneur, young entrepreneur, social entrepreneur and educational entrepreneur.
The Junior World Entrepreneurship Forum followed the main theme of ‘Entrepreneurship 3:0 Unlimited Opportunities’ and tackled topics such as social entrepreneurship, youth entrepreneurship and family business. Recommendations and insights from the Junior World Entrepreneurship Forum events were used by World Entrepreneurship Forum members during their annual event and in their preparatory works, and give a critical youth perspective on global entrepreneurship issues.
Global Entrepreneurship Program students organize Junior World Entrepreneurship Forum in Hangzhou, China
While attending their courses at Zhejiang University, students of the Global Entrepreneurship Program organized a Junior World Entrepreneurship Forum event in Hangzhou in 2013. Known for its mission to educate students in entrepreneurship, innovation, globalization and corporate social responsibility, Zhejiang University welcomed over 300 participants including young entrepreneurs, students and university professors. 5 teams won the Pitch competition and were sponsored by Hangzhou Junior Talent Work Station, one of Zhejiang University’s partner incubators, who helped the winning teams to promote their projects. Participants also benefited from networking sessions with investors who came to the Junior World Entrepreneurship Forum as they were interested in learning more about these entrepreneurial ventures – find out more about JWEF Hangzhou here.
The Global Entrepreneurship Program, run jointly by EMLYON Business School (Europe), Zhejiang University (Asia) and Purdue University (USA), combines the world’s best entrepreneurial teaching with an international study experience across three different continents. Students also have the unique opportunity to work on a business project in each continent, giving them practical application for their skills and critical real-life business experience. Further, they have access to entrepreneurial resources and experts at the three leading institutions, such as the opportunity to attend the World Entrepreneurship Forum and build an international professional network.