Mark Marich, Executive VP - Global Entrepreneurship Week

I first learned of Mogdesign when I met Jozef and David in Liverpool at our Global Entrepreneurship Congress in March 2012. We already had a ‘global’ site built on Drupal and I had a vision for a global platform that would really demonstrate the size and scale of Global Entrepreneurship Week. Mogdesign’s dedication and experience with Drupal convinced me that they were the right team for the job. Since that time, their willingness to think with us and work through the project have been great as we continue to add new functionality and expand the reach of the platform.

International Festival GEW

Mogdesign.eu created a new platform for Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) with the help of Drupal 7 and the Aegir replication system. The new platform unified the websites of the 140+ GEW partner countries, with regards to the marketing-design, appearance, communication systems and functionality of the websites, which were previously independent of each other.

The Global Entrepreneurship Week is the biggest international festival of innovators, bringing together their creative ideas that create new jobs, foster economic growth and promote human well-being. This initiative is designed to support young entrepreneurs in particular and was established by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation – the largest American foundation to focus on entrepreneurship, working in partnership with Dell. In 2011 more than 7.5 million people attended the GEW, including guests, competitors, judges, speakers and many others. Global Entrepreneurship Week is held annually in November.

As Mark Marich, Executive VP of GEW said, "Global Entrepreneurship Week is working with host organization in 140+ countries who run national awareness campaigns — with 8,000 local partners conducting 20,000 events, activities and competitions each November to support entrepreneurs and build startup ecosystems." Good communication channels are essential in order to meet these challenges. The communication is two-way and happens on multiple levels.

How was the project birthed?

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation launched a global website – Gew.co (Unleashingideas.org), which is based on Drupal. The quality of the websites in GEW partner countries varied from high quality, similar to Gew.co, to modest or even non-existent. Therefore, the GEW leaders decided it was necessary to unite the respective websites of all of the 140+ partner countries and so it was necessary to create a platform in order to do this.

The Drupal and Aegir based system helped the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation to save significant amounts of both time and money, as well as reducing the “go to market” time. Adding another country to the database, and launching a new website, is no longer a matter of lengthy development, but instead, takes only a few hours.

The services provided by Mogdesign

Mogdesign, which specializes in using Drupal to build online communities, was approached by the Kauffman Foundation. Mogdesign, after conducting a full and thorough analysis, used Drupal 7 and the Aegir replication platform to develop a multisite architecture built on one codebase. It enables every country to present their own GEW country specific content independently, submit activities and add new GEW partners in separate databases, whilst retaining the ability to centrally manage changes across all of the 140+ websites.

The Advanced Search facility means it is possible to easily find and filter activities in the proximity of each “location”. Each country’s website has built in tools enabling them to localise content into their own language. The translation capability of the websites, enables the principals of the global GEW organisations to be pushed at a local level and have a deep impact on the local community of entrepreneurs.

Successfully overcoming challenges

At the beginning of the project Mogdesign faced two main issues:
a) How to produce more than 130 identical websites
b) How to manage and maintain the websites.

The Mogdesign team’s first task was to develop the installation profile that contains all of the functionality of the code. This is about managing change within the code. If the team changes one part of the code then it affects all of the websites in the partner countries.

The second issue was solved by deploying a special system for managing websites, called Aegir. Thanks to Aegir, the websites of the partner countries are automatically backed up. In the event of complications or malfunctions, it is possible to revert back to the previous version at any time. Aegir also ensures the continuity and integrity of the site. The original version of the website works until the new version is published.

The results of the new platform

Through the implementation of the platform, the Mogdesign team achieved consistency, ease of use and the option to update all 140+ websites at once. The platform also unified the visual branding elements, ensured the rapid deployment of new versions of web pages and enabled access and permissions to be easily changed for partners within the GEW ecosystem. The platform also enabled information such as lead articles to be sent from the global site, Gew.co, to partner countries and vice versa.

Thanks to the platform, statistics about activities at a local level are synchronised into a global database on Gew.co. Last but not least, the Mogdesign team created a central library (entrepreneurship resources library). Its purpose is to encourage the community of partner countries to invest into the library relevant documents and materials to encourage sustainable development, education and growth of entrepreneurship. In the future, Mogdesign plans to expand the platform, expanding both the commerce applications and event management features. With the help of gamification we would like to encourage the creation of online activities, resource sharing, and enable the local communities of the GEW to have a deeper involvement.

About Mogdesign

Mogdesign is a leading central European agency for web design and development services based on Drupal (open-source content management system), located in Slovakia. Since 2005, Mogdesign has been helping non-profit organizations, businesses and start-ups around the globe to build their online communities and market their services. Mogdesign focuses on large scale deployments, payment solutions, system integrations and performance optimization. Client list include the Kauffman Foundation, the World Economic Forum, UNDP, UNESCO, and the Drupal Association among many others.

For more information, visit http://www.mogdesign.eu, and follow @mogdesign_eu on Twitter.

About Global Entrepreneurship Week

During one week each November, thousands of events and competitions around the world inspire millions to engage in entrepreneurial activity while connecting them to potential collaborators, mentors and even investors. In five years, Global Entrepreneurship Week has expanded to 139 countries—building and strengthening entrepreneurial ecosystems around the world. Powered by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and sponsored by Dell, the initiative is supported by dozens of world leaders and a network of roughly 10,000 partner organizations.

For more information, visit http://www.unleashingideas.org or http://gew.co, and follow @unleashingideas on Twitter.

About the Kauffman Foundation

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a private, nonpartisan foundation that aims to foster economic independence by advancing educational achievement and entrepreneurial success. Founded by late entrepreneur and philanthropist Ewing Marion Kauffman, the Foundation is based in Kansas City, Mo., and has approximately $2 billion in assets.

For more information, visit http://www.kauffman.org, and follow the Foundation on http://www.twitter.com/kauffmanfdn and http://www.facebook.com/kauffmanfdn.