What is your personal entrepreneurial ecosystem? Just as an ecosystem in the physical environment is a balanced, interdependent quasi-stable community of organisms living together, so its industrial analogue is the business ecosystem, which is a ‘balanced, quasi-stable collection of interdependent firms belonging to the same economy’. We can refer to geographical environments that influence you in supporting your quest for entrepreneurship.. According to Isenberg, entrepreneurs are most successful when they have access to the human, financial and professional resources they need, and operate in an environment in which policies encourage and safeguard entrepreneurs. This network is described as the ‘entrepreneurship ecosystem’. Aulet describes the relevant components of a successful innovation ecosystem as individuals, organisations and resources, specifically including government, demand, invention, funding, infrastructure, entrepreneurs and culture.
Here are some ways to be sure your own personal entrepreneurship ecosystem is in place.
Within your own culture, find those success stories and role models who tolerate honest mistakes, take honourable failure in stride, permit risk taking, and cultivate contrarian thinking. Who is it within your own personal circle who respects entrepreneurship as a worthy occupation?
Identify knowledgeable people who have experience in creating organizations, hiring, and building structures, systems, and controls.
Find the mentoring organisations and industry associations that help investors and entrepreneurs network and learn from one another.
Locate the educational institutions (or even online tutorials that teach financial literacy and entrepreneurship
Pay attention to the public infrastructure you will be needing, such as transportation (roads, airports, railways, container shipping), and communication (digital, broadband, mobile).
Think about re-locating yourself to a geographic locations that has a concentration of people who think like you do. This might be close to universities, training institutions, suppliers, consulting firms, and professional associations.
Subscribe to or become a member of formal or informal groups that link entrepreneurs in the country or region and diaspora networks—in particular, high-achieving expatriates.
Always be on the look out for fellow travellers who like you are pursuing venture-oriented professionals, such as lawyers, accountants, and market and technical consultants.
Stay in touch with your potential customers who are willing to give advice, particularly on new products or services.
Sources: Frederick, H., O’Connor, A., & Kuratko, D. (2012). Entrepreneurship Theory Process Practice (3rd ed.). Melbourne: Cengage Learning Australia; Allenby, B. R., Richards, D. J., & National Academy of Engineering. (1994). The greening of industrial ecosystems. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, p.36; Cohen, B. (2006). Sustainable valley entrepreneurial ecosystems. Business Strategy and the Environment, 15(1), 1–14; Isenberg, D. J. (2010). How To Start An Entrepreneurial Revolution. Harvard Business Review, 88(6), 40–50. Retrieved from ; Aulet, B. (2008). How to build a successful innovation ecosystem: educate, network, and celebrate. Xconomy.Com, 14.
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