Submit Your GEWKC Event: Kansas City Entrepreneurs Want to Learn from YOU

Global Entrepreneurship Week—that third full week in November where Kansas City (and the world) celebrates our innovators, makers and entrepreneurs—is coming your way again. Mark your calendars for Nov. 18-22, 2018, and dust off your presentation skills. Like last year, we’re crowdsourcing educational events and panels from smart folks like you to help KC entrepreneurs grow businesses better and faster.


What is Global Entrepreneurship Week?

Let’s start from the top. Global Entrepreneurship Week is an international celebration of innovators and job creators who launch startups and bring ideas to life. The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation founded GEW in 2008. Now in its 12th year, the event has expanded to more than 160 countries.

Kansas City is definitely all in when it comes to celebrating GEW and entrepreneurship. In 2018, #GEWKC served over 5,000 attendees with 175 crowdsourced events.

This year, GEWKC has a new location: Kansas City’s historic 18th and Vine district. The Black Archives of Mid-Missouri in Kansas City will serve as base camp, with other prominent locations throughout the district also hosting events.

How can you host an event at #GEWKC?

Like the 2018 event, this year’s free celebration of entrepreneurship is broken into tracks, but this year we’ve expanded the number of tracks to five: makers and creators, startups, social entrepreneurship, scalers and tech, a new track. Your event idea should be tailored to one or more of these audiences.

Let’s break it down:

Makers and Creators: anyone who makes or creates, like brewers, distillers, bakers, inventors, crafters

Startups: those who want to test a new business or those who have started their business but still need help with navigating some aspects

Social Enterprise: businesses that want to prime their operations for their social and environmental goals, as well as profits

Scalers: businesses that have survived the startup phase but haven’t yet reached maturity and are eager to grow

Tech: for fast-growing businesses that are leveraging technology to disrupt an industry. These businesses need resources and funding that moves as fast as they do.

If you have ideas on how you can provide value, insight and education to these entrepreneurs, submit your event now or keep reading for more insider tips.

What session ideas are most likely to be selected?

The GEWKC committee encourages all ideas. Individual speakers and presenters, panels and workshops are some good places to start. Topics that focus on providing additional knowledge and skill-sharing with the community have the best chance of being picked; the organizing committee gives special weight to suggestions that are new or different.

Pitches for products and services, and for-profit ideas will not be accepted.

Need something more specific to get those juices flowing? These well-attended GEWKC 2017 and 2018 events might inspire you:

  • successful founders share trade secrets

  • how businesses can leverage WordPress

  • what fashion entrepreneurs should know

  • the secrets of running a food-truck business

  • how to foster innovation in established companies

  • how solopreneurs can have fun and make a profit

  • learn to leverage LinkedIn

  • how to get paid to speak

  • the best business advice I ever got

  • how to be an entrepreneur in 75 minutes

  • hacks to make your videos look professional

  • how to tell effective stories on social media

  • start a business with no money

What is the schedule for the week?

Events are scheduled throughout the day and start Monday morning Nov. 18 and go though Friday evening Nov. 22. Each slot gets 90 minutes, with 30-minute breaks for venue changes, transportation and networking. But 90 minutes is a suggestion—most sessions don’t fill the entire slot.

Available time slots:

  • 8 a.m.
  • 10 a.m.
  • noon
  • 2 p.m.
  • 4 p.m.
  • 6 p.m.

What’s the criteria for submissions?

Sessions should give attendees valuable information, embody the spirit of #GEWKC and champion the community. Here are a few factors we use to evaluate session ideas: how appropriate the session is to the goals of the event, how thoughtful the session description is, the quality of that description, how the submission fits into the balance of content, the balance of speakers and companies represented throughout the week and other considerations.

Often, many session proposals cover similar topics, so we might either pick representative sessions or combine multiple sessions into a single panel. But, in many cases, it’s important to vary the speakers and topics from year to year to expand our audience and subject areas.

Submissions will be accepted through Aug. 18.

Besides running an event, how else can I support #GEWKC?

This year, we want lovers and supporters of entrepreneurship (like you) to be directly involved in this weeklong celebration. You can volunteer or sponsor the week. And you can do it all at

As a #GEWKC sponsor, you can support Kansas City’s entrepreneurial community (and gain exposure for your organization) through monetary contributions (from $2,500 to $10,000) or by hosting an event. Read about sponsorship benefits or throw your hat in the ring now.

Make #GEWKC 2019 one to remember

If you can’t host a #GEWKC event but know of an organization that could, please share this blog post (or direct them to the #GEWKC website). And if you have any unanswered questions, contact Jenny Miller at [email protected] or give KCSourceLink a call at 816-235-6500.

And while you’re chatting with us about your awesome #GEWKC idea, that’s a great time to ask us for your free Personal Action Plan to take your business to the next level. You can give us the details on the phone or fill out the info online because you don’t have to wait until #GEWKC in November to plug into KC entrepreneurship.

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