The Global Entrepreneurship Summer School (GESS) celebrates its tenth anniversary this year. After having educated more than 300 students in tackling global challenges by entrepreneurial means - it is time to look back. For its tenth anniversary, an impact survey was conducted with the alumni - to see the impact GESS has on all these different lives around the globe and the results are stunning.
Back in 2008, when GESS was founded, there was no connection between the four entrepreneurship centers of Munich. Unbelievable - since Munich is in the unique position that each of the four universities has an entrepreneurship center. GESS was the initial starting point to start working together, using the power of the 4 centers to create sth. beyond the own networks’ power! The leaders of the four entrepreneurship centers started from scratch – in the beginning they met every week and even discussed if there will be coffee at GESS! They wanted to students to think out of their box and let them see the global perspective. The idea of founding found a summer school seemed an easy way to combine all these thoughts. Bringing students together from around the globe and all kinds of disciplines created a unique atmosphere right away.
After 9 nine years GESS has grown out of a vague idea into a well-known and established summer school. By now GESS gets around a 1000 applications from all over the world every year.. Last year for example, GESS received applications from 93 countries. Although GESS is profiting from many years of experience and is an established institution, the spirit is still the same! Every year anew, students crave for tools that empower them to societal change:
GESS has touched many lives so far. When the participants leave after seven days of hard work and fun, they have tools at hand to tackle global challenges. After GESS, 90% of all participants plan to found. After seven days at GESS, they have grown beyond themselves and gained a global network: 95% of alumni are still in touch with each other. It is unique combination of internationality, entrepreneurship and global thinking that makes the spirit of GESS until today and gives the participants the chance to grow. The spirit of GESS stayed the same, but it is also constantly renewing itself. Last year GESS took place also in Shanghai and Mexico City. GESS educates by now every year over a hundred students, but it certainly hasn’t reached its full potential, yet.