Earlier this month I was in Liverpool as an official delegate of the Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC 2012). There were people from more than 127 countries and collectively we represented the largest gathering of startup and entrepreneurial champions ever assembled in one place.

There were inspiring speeches from famous entrepreneurs like Richard Branson and not so well known entrepreneurs such as Mike Southon. But the real meat of the Congress took place when the delegates assembled to address the challenges of accelerating the growth of an emerging global entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Interacting and listening to all the different perspectives, unique cultures, and challenges that each country faces as they work to grow their own entrepreneurial ecosystem’s I was struck by the similarities in what was being said. In fact as I was visualizing what was being said in my notebook it became very clear that everyone was pretty much saying the same thing from Ethiopia to Saudi Arabia from Costa Rica to Sri Lanka the same challenges and opportunities.

Upon reflection during my travels back home I developed three lessons from the Congress and share them here with you in hopes that you will be able to apply these lessons learned to your ecosystem. Rather than overwhelm in one post I’m breaking them into three. Let’s jump right in!

Lesson 1 – Stop talking. Start Doing! Be a startup to help startups.

There is a lot of talk going on about different ways and models to go about growing entrepreneurs and startups. There is even more research being done on how to grow entrepreneurs and startups. The only way to really learn the best ways to increase the quality and quantity of entrepreneurs is to actually start implementing programs that entrepreneurs need. Experiment with what works. Get entrepreneurs involved in the program designs so that you are creating programs that entrepreneurs really want and need. All the research in the world is not as valuable as going out and getting your hand dirty. Entrepreneurs are different breed all together. You have come up with programs that inspire them acting like a magnet to pull them out of the nooks and crannies. Stop talking and start doing is a good first step.

Thoughts, questions? Post them below. Tomorrow we will post lesson number 2.

Links:
Kaufman Foundation http://www.kauffman.org
Mike Southen http://www.mikesouthon.com
Sir Richard Branson http://www.virgin.com/richard-branson