A new report from the Kauffman Foundation suggests how they could do so. “Enabling Entrepreneurial Ecosystems,” offers six general strategies for states looking to foster and sustain entrepreneurial ecosystems.
- Favor incumbents less—avoid policies, like restrictive licensing requirements, that indirectly favor existing, dominant companies by creating entry barriers for new ones.
- Listen to entrepreneurs—instead of developing policies in a vacuum, listen to what local entrepreneurs have to say about their challenges and use that insight to develop policies that address those challenges.
- Map the ecosystem—chart the networks and connections that link entrepreneurs and their support organizations and use that information to identify, engage, and support entrepreneurs.
- Think big, start small, move fast—implement strategies that “seek domains for early success and rapidly iterate forward from there to build well-grounded programs at scale.”
- Avoid artificially segmenting your community and your strategies—recognize that members of an entrepreneurial community play many roles simultaneously (for example, a person may be working on his or her own venture while mentoring a new entrepreneur) and develop strategies that capitalize on the community’s diverse skills.
- Prepare to capitalize on crises—recognize that economic disruptions, like layoffs, create entrepreneurial opportunity, and find ways to help entrepreneurial communities make the most of them when they arise.