Everything on the planet is part of an ecosystem: the watershed, the trees and grass, the insects you squash in your living room, and yes, the business you own or are growing.
As you grow your business, you’ll hear the term Entrepreneurship Ecosystem. According to Babson Global, the ecosystem has six parts:
Culture, Markets, Human Capital, Finance, Supports, and Policy.
There are lots of other models for the Ecosystem, but we use this one as a foundation.
Most people look at one, two, or maybe three components of the ecosystem. Rarely have we met individuals that comprehend the entire system. Most of the time, people look from the standpoint of incubation/acceleration, funding, education, or workforce development perspective. But it is important to understand the other blocks in the building. Some clearly overlap, such as culture and education, or culture and support. The key is to just start understanding where these agencies or organizations fit into the ecosystem.
Over the next few weeks we’ll go through each in detail. Bear in mind we’re only touching the tip of the iceberg with these blog posts and could go on for hours about each topic.
The 6 domains of the Entrepreneurship Ecosystem: Part One — Culture
There is always an Entrepreneurial spirit. In every community, locally or globally, it exists, although there might be hard to see, or have a dent in it. You need to search out the places where entrepreneurs hang out to encourage and support each other. You will find them in local markets where there is a small coffee shop, small retail shop, chambers of commerce, or trade shows. Stay away from those that discourage you from doing anything because of the perceived barriers you will face.
Culture is affected by a lot of things, such as education, environment, policy and other factors. Today, the infrastructure of a city or a country may drive people away from entrepreneurship — because we want everyone to stay in their lane, follow the rules and regulations we’ve created.
If you color outside the lines, you fail in art class. If you step outside the prescribed career choices, you become a challenge to the establishment.
Some of the schools and teachers have found ways to expose students to entrepreneurship by offering classes, bringing in guest speakers, or creating an environment in which entrepreneurs and students can interact and further develop a business idea.
Developing a culture takes a minimum of 5–10 years. To get started, you might want to think about the balance between results and long-term vision.
BEFORE YOU GO:
- Think about where you could contribute to the culture, where you could donate your time.
- Who could you collaborate with?
- Be patient. This about how you can create a buzz to capture momentum to move forward.
NEXT WEEK: Part TWO — MARKETS
Faris Alami is Founder and CEO of International Strategic Management, Inc. (ISM). He works internationally, presenting Exploring Entrepreneurship Workshops and other entrepreneurial ecosystem — related ventures.