Three short years ago growing an entrepreneurial ecosystem was not a common goal of communities across the Western World, and even fewer countries around the globe were focused on growing entrepreneurs. Today, things are very different. Entrepreneurship is the new “it” thing, and for good reason. Throughout history entrepreneurship has been an important driver of economic growth, cultural influence, innovation, and job creation. Entrepreneurship has become a “top priority” for almost every city and country around the world.
With such positive win-win-win opportunities swirling around entrepreneurship, it can be all too easy for us to think that we have found the economic development “silver bullet.” Like most things in life, there is no silver bullet, there is no easy path, and growing a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem takes a committed village of entrepreneurial champions. The reward is worth the effort.
History has shown us that entrepreneurship is a powerful driver of economic development. As a discipline, entrepreneurship is fresh and exciting, but at the same time our understanding of how to inspire increased entrepreneurial behavior is limited, albeit increasing. Thinking about an entrepreneurial ecosystem as a startup itself is an important mindset that allows for experimentation and adaptation to what entrepreneurs need to advance their business aspirations.
Nurturing and growing an entrepreneurial ecosystem is a long-term proposition. It requires a constantly evolving village of entrepreneurial drivers to grow a vibrant collection of service providers and entrepreneurial champions armed with the tools and resources that will meet the needs of entrepreneurs at any and all levels of business development.
Many cities around the world have been successful at developing entrepreneurial ecosystems. As ecosystems continue to grow, more and more of these ecosystems are starting to mirror each other and look very similar.
Tailoring entrepreneurial ecosystem development to “regional economic and cultural strengths” is key to increasing the quality and quantity of successful new startups, accelerating economic development, and inspiring a new generation of aspiring entrepreneurs to follow their dreams.
My advice … you don’t need anyone’s permission to get started. Collect a small team and do something that inspires your team to inspire an increase in entrepreneurial activity in your community. The time is now!
Download the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Blueprint VizTool our self-guided visual thinking tool created to accelerate designing and building any communities entrepreneurial ecosystem.