Building the Borderless Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Oct 8, 2018 · 3 min read

It all started with a simple meal on 8th December 2011 in London

A deliberately small group, loosely curated, of entrepreneurs came together, shared a challenge and helped each other out. We didn’t know what it would lead to but we instinctively knew that a small gathering of good people would undoubtedly make some good things happen.

We hoped to do another. We did. Then another.

During 2012 we hosted one dinner a month and often wondered how 9others could be more useful to more people. One day that year Katie said, “What about other cities? Let’s do 12 cities in the next 12 months”.

Starting with Elise in Barcelona, then Matt in Berlin and Patrick in Singapore meals with 9others were hosted in 12 different cities over the next 12 months. The 9others network has now grown to over 4,000 entrepreneurs in 45 cities around the world. We still meet over a simple meal and help each other solve challenges by sharing connections, experiences and different perspectives.

Having a trusted network is something no entrepreneur should be without

Having hosted over 100 meals in London, over 170 outside of London and having seen the insights from around the world we’ve discovered that there are three key business challenges that, with the aid of others, can be turned around:

  1. Money in, money out. Cash flow, investment and managing what you spend;
  2. People in, people out. Making sure the right people get on board and stay with the mission and the wrong people don’t;
  3. Communication. How to communicate the right thing to the right people at the right time.

That’s why from now and with your help we are building the Borderless Entrepreneurial Ecosystem needed to support emerging and underrepresented economies. ‘Borderless’ because it doesn’t matter where people happen to be because we’re all connected.

We believe that 9others can help hundreds and thousands of people solve the 3 key challenges in business.

Doing business in Yemen

On 29th September 2016 Yusra hosted a meal with 9others in Sana’a, Yemen, here, paid for by an NGO.

We hoped that event would kick off regular meals with 9others there but it didn’t. Due to the war the mindset in Yemen is understandably short-term — out of necessity it has to be; the entrepreneurs there are focused on today and tomorrow so why should they come together with others and help another business with their problems?!

However, we wanted to help — building a community and talking about business challenges can make a big difference so in 2019 our aim is to fund dinners in Yemen from donations given by people who like and have benefitted from 9others elsewhere in the world.

You can help

By donating to fund our networking and community building activities in Yemen we can help host a meal a month there in 2019. After doing this the aim is that Yemen will become self-sustaining and we can move on to help kick start 9others in another emerging entrepreneurial ecosystem.

How does it work?

If you have been to a meal with 9others and benefitted in anyway from this network or if you share our belief that no entrepreneur should be without a trusted network then please donate whatever you think is appropriate. Your donation can be anonymous if you wish and there is no set amount — please give what you can.

Our goals with this fundraising are two simple things:

  • With $100 (around £85 incl transfer fees) we can host one 9others event in Yemen
  • $1,200 will allow us to host a monthly 9others event throughout 2019

And with more?

Meals with 9others have been hosted in emerging economies such as Papua New Guinea, Sierra Leone, Baghdad and Myanmar. With more we can support and connect people in these regions and help them build their own trusted networks.

With our help we can give the social and financial impact to inspire further entrepreneurial activity and give people the opportunities to build a better future for themselves, their family and their community.

Please follow this link to donate

Thank you for your support creating a truly borderless ecosystem that will help entrepreneurs no matter where they are.

Matthew & Katie


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Having a trusted network is something no entrepreneur should be without.

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