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Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

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"The evidence is indisputable: high-growth scaling ventures are game changers. Scale-ups are the ventures that:

Create the vast majority of new jobs in an economy;
Generate the most value in the form of financial, economic and social returns;
Drive innovation and shape ecosystems;
Incubate and develop talent pipelines; and
Spawn the next generation of thriving scale-ups and the experienced entrepreneurs that create them.

Africa needs more startups that transition to scale. Many more.

But scaling is rare. And difficult. All the more so in sub-Saharan Africa, where large populations do not equate to large addressable markets, necessitating very early (and risky) expansion into new markets in search of the critical mass of customers needed to raise funding and scale a business.

Whilst there are some universal scaling principles that can and should be applied, there isn’t a formula for scaling. Because it isn’t pure science. On the contrary, scaling is predominantly an art: a unique blend of inputs, decisions and actions that is different for each scaling business."

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"Swisscontact and Startup Heatmap Europe have joined forces to develop a self-serving toolkit that empowers startup hubs all around the world to measure the health of their ecosystems. The toolkit supports managers of startup programs, university incubators, research transfer organizations, ecosystem builders and policy makers to track the progress of their ecosystem build-up. End-users are empowered to use the toolkit to source data in their home ecosystems, enter them in an interactive dashboard and based on the outcomes, and identify recommended fields of action."

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"Taking advantage of China’s 2017 free trade zone (FTZ) program introduced in 15 cities, we adopt the difference-in-difference techniques to evaluate the effectiveness of FTZ policies in encouraging entrepreneurship. Our econometric analysis suggests that they have moderately motivated start-up businesses, evidenced by higher growth of company registrations. The impact was only seen in 2017
but not in any subsequent years. Moreover, the policies haven’t had a clear positive impact on individual firms’ business sizes. The Chinese government hasn’t released any estimation for the costs of FTZ programs, but we expect their economic return to be meager. Therefore, we would suggest not expanding the program further; instead, the government should address the pressing issues that
suppress business activities."

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"Through the support of Advancing Women’s Empowerment Fund driven by Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Property Point developed an Access to Finance Guide. The aim of the guide is to address the obstacles that prevent access to finance for WSGBs. One of the key elements of the project entails to equip you as a female entrepreneur with relevant information as you embark on your funding journey. In consultation with funding experts and other stakeholders, we have been able to compile this useful guide to assist entrepreneurs when applying for funding."

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"This guide for financial and business development services providers is designed to help you, as a company or individual providing services to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), to be more gender-inclusive in your work. Applying a gender lens to your approach and offerings will, without doubt, improve your service delivery to women entrepreneurs, your own business outcomes and the communities where you work. With this guide you will learn about the benefits of targeting women entrepreneurs and women-led businesses and how to tailor products and service delivery to them. We give you step-by-step guidance for how to begin to incorporate gender-inclusive strategies into your content and delivery of services, helping you to set the foundations for better overall impact and effectiveness."

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"This guide draws from Endeavor Insight’s body of research on ecosystem development and summarizes the most effective ways that stakeholders, primarily entrepreneurial support organizations and donors, can incorporate lessons into their decisions. The research utilized for this guide primarily applies to ecosystems involving tech-enabled sectors and high-impact entrepreneurs, i.e. those who lead growth oriented, investment-seeking businesses. Still, many of the findings may also apply to a wider range of contexts."

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"This assessment was conducted by a mixed international-local team with youth participation, and is the first of a series of labor market assessments to be conducted under the Workforce Connections project. The methodology builds on standard approaches to understanding labor markets used in the past by USAID, other donors, governments, and private organizations, with the addition of a more focused economic analysis which makes it possible to generate deeper insight into the drivers of skills demand. Results from this and the other Workforce Connections assessments, and the tools used to generate them, will be shared and further refined through the project's Community of Practice over the coming year. The assessment also contains a summary of lessons learned about workforce development programming."

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"Women-led and women-owned businesses continue to be a largely untapped resource for economic growth in emerging economies. There is promising data, highlighted in this report, for the opportunity to strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystems supporting women in emerging economies, despite the negative impacts of the pandemic. This report underscores the potential for women’s businesses, especially startup businesses and high-growth entrepreneurs, and emphasizes the need to fill critical gaps in access to financing, technology, social networks and training. "

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Currently there are over 500 townships in the South Africa, whose combined land mass surpasses that of Johannesburg and Durban combined and which are home to an estimated 40% of South Africa’s urban population. While more is understood about the small and growing businesses (SGBs) in metropolitan areas, less is known about the entrepreneurial ecosystems in the townships and how to support the primarily micro, necessity-based businesses that operate there. This report focuses on identifying the key actors implementing programmes to support entrepreneurs and small businesses operating in townships in the Eastern Cape, Gauteng, and Western Cape Provinces, the challenges the entrepreneurial support providers face, and the opportunities to strengthen this ecosystem.

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Les écosystèmes entrepreneuriaux comprennent l’ensemble des éléments culturels, politiques et économiques qui permettent aux entrepreneurs de lancer, soutenir et développer une nouvelle affaire. Si le concept d’écosystème entrepreneurial est bien établi, la base de données probantes sur la manière exacte dont les écosystèmes se développent et sur la question à savoir si les interventions peuvent accélérer cette croissance est toujours en cours d’élaboration. Ce rapport synthétise les données existantes sur le processus complexe de création d’écosystèmes entrepreneuriaux et propose des enseignements clés tirés de la documentation.

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