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UNC-Chapel Hill will celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week Nov. 18-22 with several activities, including some of the world’s top social innovators as speakers, a pitch party, a crowdfunding masterclass and an “Entrepreneurship in the Triangle” networking event.

Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu, founder of the Ethiopian company soleRebels, will be the keynote speaker at a Monday event called “How Entrepreneurship Can Change the World.” CNN named Alemu one of 12 female entrepreneurs who changed the way business is done and Fast Company said she is one of the most creative people in business.

Other speakers throughout the week include the founders of BioMason, Sungevity, Beat Making Lab, Seeds, Strata Solar and Firsthand Foods to show how entrepreneurship and innovation can make a difference in health, energy, the arts, fashion, biotech, technology, food, water and sanitation, clean air and other sectors.

Events are scheduled throughout the week including an “Entrepreneurship in the Triangle” networking event co-hosted by the Council for Entrepreneurial Development, the Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network, Startup NC and a dozen other partners from the Triangle on Nov. 18. Other events include a crowdfunding masterclass led by Indiegogo on Nov. 20, which will be livestreamed to other campuses and incubators across the country. The Carolina Challenge will also host a pitch party on Nov. 21.

As part of the festivities, UNC will host its first Sustainability Innovation Jam, an online platform that will offer a chance for the UNC community to come together for a week to develop viable solutions online to complex sustainability problems. During the week, Blackman and Sloop will offer pro-bono accounting office hours to startups and social ventures at Launch Chapel Hill. Young alumni entrepreneurs will also share their experiences paving their own path and host a “Fashion a Better World” event celebrating sustainable fashion.

To kick off Global Entrepreneurship Week at UNC, Triangle Startup Weekend will come to Carolina the weekend prior. Students from across the area, developers, designers, local entrepreneurs and creative thinkers will come together to turn ideas into reality around the clock from Nov. 15-17.

UNC-Chapel Hill has been ranked as one of the nation’s top two partner universities of Global Entrepreneurship Week USA and third place overall. Last year, more than 1,000 people participated at the week’s events. All events are free and open to the public.

Global Entrepreneurship Week worldwide celebrates innovators and job creators who launch startups that bring ideas to life, drive economic growth and expand human welfare. It has grown to more than 115 countries, reaching more than 7 million people.

Read more about Global Entrepreneurship Week.

Published November 11, 2013.