New firms are critical generators of jobs and innovation, even in times of recession when they have a key role in replacing jobs destroyed elsewhere in the economy. Growth-oriented enterprises are of particular importance, i.e. enterprises that seek to grow to have significant scale, due to the impact on job creation they have.
What favours the emergence and successful scaling of these enterprises? Clearly, growth-oriented entrepreneurship is influenced by national framework conditions, but drivers extend well beyond these national framework conditions.
This international workshop aims to increase our understanding of how local entrepreneurial ecosystems affect growth-oriented entrepreneurship and the role of policy. A strong local ecosystem can be expected to comprise, in addition to successful entrepreneurs, a combination of investors, established firms, knowledge institutions and service providers. However, there also needs to be the glue that brings these different agents together. These ‘connectors’ are often in the private sector, such as local consultants, angel investors, venture capitalists and established entrepreneur mentors, who make the connections in their own interest. However, the public sector may take on a part of this role in some ecosystems, for example by creating organisations for the diagnosis of business needs and for referral to public and private sector partners and service providers. More clarity is needed on what should be the public policy role in supporting ecosystems.
The workshop will be structured around the following three sessions:
The concept of “entrepreneurial ecosystem” is relatively new in the policy domain. The first session will look at how entrepreneurial ecosystems can be defined, how they work, whether they have primarily a national or local dimension, and what their main drivers of success or failures are. Examples of well-performing entrepreneurial ecosystems will be brought on, with a view to identifying main success factors and the role of policy. Some of the key questions addressed in this session will be:
The second session of the workshop will focus on the actors needed for an entrepreneurial ecosystem to be growth-oriented. In addition to key players such as investors, established firms, serial entrepreneurs, knowledge institutions and service providers, the literature on entrepreneurial ecosystems has placed emphasis on the role of connectors or dealmakers, who are the glue keeping the entrepreneurial ecosystem together. This role can be performed by institutions such as science parks and industry associations, but also by less formalised associations such as entrepreneurs’ clubs and entrepreneur mentors. In some successful entrepreneurial ecosystems, connectors are from the private sector, but in other cases the intervention of the public sector is necessary to stimulate their emergence or fill gaps directly.
The third and final session will focus on the role of policy for growth-oriented entrepreneurship and identify what policy can be expected to do in fostering a high-growth entrepreneurial ecosystem. The session will examine which countries and regions are using the concept of entrepreneurial ecosystem in policy design, bringing concrete case-study examples. Prominence will be given to the specific measures taken by national and local governments, looking at whether such actions imply filling gaps in the system, improving the quality of players or still acting as connectors in the system.
Mr. Marco Marchese
Tel. (33-1) 45 24 78 56
Fax (33-1) 44 30 62 67