It is Entrepreneurship Time: Ecosystem Building: An Idea Coming of Age?

It is Entrepreneurship Time: Ecosystem Building: An Idea Coming of Age?

Monday, November, 16, 2020 By Ph.D.Norris Krueger, Expert Entrepreneurship Developer. Senior Subject Matter Expert for Entrepreneurial Ecosystems & Learning, OECD/EU, United States

Do we grow local economies bottom-up or top-down?

At a seminal OECD workshop in 2013 in the Netherlands, leading thinkers came together and discussed this issue. One side focused on creating optimal enabling conditions wherein entrepreneurship would emerge. The other side focused not on this institutional perspective but instead on a functional approach wherein the community grew from the entrepreneurs and their champions. [Mason & Brown 2014[1]] One intriguing observation was that civic officials and large institutions (including universities) strongly favored the top-down approach. Meanwhile, the entrepreneurial community of entrepreneurs, investors, and entrepreneurial champions favored the latter, often vehemently. Self-serving biases aside, it is clear that the more one works closely with entrepreneurs, bottom-up becomes preferred.

To that end, major supporters of entrepreneurship turned their interest to the entrepreneur-led, bottom up model (to use Feld’s fortuitous phrase). In particular, the Kauffman Foundation realized the need to explicitly work to reduce or remove the hurdles to starting, running, and growing ventures for everyone. This model of “zero barriers” is intended as a “rising tide” strategy that empowers everyone.[2](Read more…).

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