Thursday, October 2, 2008

No Fools for Entrepreneur Summit Lookout

Recently, the Kauffman Foundation and the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) co-published an executive summary on their April 1, 2008 summit about entrepreneurship support programs.

They sought to address four questions:
  1. What are the core components of an effective entrepreneurship support program?
  2. What is the essential infrastructure of an entrepreneurship eco-system?
  3. What are new avenues for research?
  4. What steps should be taken next to facilitate high-growth entrepreneurs?

The results:

  1. They determined the programs should structure their services to address entrepreneurs core needs
  2. These needs are: a) relevant market knowledge; b) access to talent and capital; c) networks
  3. Research on the programs value would be useful
  4. Policymakers and stakeholders need greater awareness

Key components of an effective entrepreneurial support program should include:

  • a recognition that limited resources forces concentration on particular segments
  • structure to what the customer base needs
  • function as brokers in the community, building bridges

The value of the entrepreneurial support program depends on three features:

  • Ability to efficiently facilitate networks
  • Management of peer-to-peer and mentoring programs
  • Strength of program leadership

On the question of the entrepreneurial eco-system, the summit says that programs work best if they are part of a wider regional vision. The steps necessary to promote innovative entrepreneurship?

  • Engage in partnerships with key community stakeholders
  • Provide support in regulatory and business assistance
  • Cultivate human capital for workforce development
  • Facilitate access to capital
  • Promote the commercialization of invention
  • Create organizations as part of a wider regional vision

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