What Makes An Entrepreneurship Ecosystem?

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The question of how to build a fully fledged entrepreneurship ecosystem in the Middle East is one that we look to address daily at Wamda. As entrepreneurs call for more support, we ask- how can banks and investors best support SMEs? Are accelerators doing a good job of creating opportunities? How can the relationship between angel investors and entrepreneurs improve? Can better infrastructure boost existing startups? Can the diaspora help?

It's clear that the revolutions have been both a boon and a challenge, opening up new opportunities for some, while forcing many small businesses to adopt even leaner strategies. Political turmoil has further highlighted the need for economic growth and job creation in the region over the next few years, causing policymakers and thought leaders to set forth agendas and calls for entrepreneurial initiatives in the Arab World.

As we continue to debate what the region needs and push for change, it helps to examine a holistic view of the ecosystem and its various players.

Especially for those who have become irritated by the word "ecosystem," a visual definition might ground the idea in tangible elements rather than allow it to become an overused buzzword.

Here, Daniel Isenberg, Professor of the Management Practice at Babson Global and founder of the the Babson Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Project (BEEP), offers a complete protrait of the elements necessary for a fully fledged entrepreneurship ecosystem.

Isenberg has worked around the globe to foster entrepreneurship, piloting programs and adivsing policymakers in Puerto Rico, Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Spain, Ireland, South Africa, China, Bahrain, and Abu Dhabi, and blogging for Forbes and Harvard Business Review.

Explore his vision and let us know what you think. Which element is most important to you?  

Click here to see the large version.

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