Entrepreneurship Ecosystem

With an increased interest in supporting the development of SMEs or entrepreneurship, it is important to widen our knowledge about the factors that affects the development and growth of these businesses. These factors are all part of what is called an SME Ecosystem.

Some researchers argue that an SME Ecosystem is part of an overall Business Ecosystem. We tend to agree with that argument and state further that the system consist of a number of elements explained below:

Rules and Regulations

Rules and Regulations governing the business environment are a key factor in the SME ecosystem. It is imperative for the concerned authority to begin to look at the extent these laws and Regulations are compatible with the acceleration in the business world Supporting Organizations Support to startups can come in different forms. Majority of early stage business owners would stick to the belief that getting financial support and availability of fund is their utmost need. We tend to believe that guidance and mentoring is what they should seek. Apart from financing and mentoring, there are number of initiatives or organization that support SMEs by providing incubation services, training, skills development, coaching and else.

The Community

Community members play a major role in supporting SMEs. Whether as a consumer by purchasing their products or a family relative by believing in the business owners and providing mental support.

Educational System

Part of the role that educational institutions play is in changing the mindset of youngsters by encouraging them to think of entrepreneurship as a career option. There are many initiatives in this regard including creating incubation programs, introducing entrepreneurship competition, inviting successful business owners as guest lecturers and offering entrepreneurship courses.

Entrepreneurs and the Business Owners

In our view Entrepreneurs are the most important element in the SME Ecosystem. Daniel Isenberg, a Professor of Entrepreneurship Practice, Babson Executive Education, and founding Executive Director of the Babson Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Project, differs and states that the ecosystem is quite dynamic and there are many factors that affect it that it cannot be solely driven by the entrepreneurs.

In contrast, we believe that business owners should always strive to build businesses that could compete at regional and international level. They should also realize the importance of their role in driving the economy

Do we need to have a thriving Ecosystem for SME to grow?

According to the Kauffman Foundation, the US economy is improving and good jobs are increasing while on the contrary the number of startups is decreasing. They go further arguing that encouraging startups may be bad policy.

There are those who believe that entrepreneurs need to go through the challenges and obstacles to become more resilient and others who support the approach of facilitating the entrepreneurship journey.

Given that supporting SMEs or entrepreneurs is on the agenda of many development plans, it is important to ensure that all these elements are taken into consideration when developing strategies for SME development.