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Entrepreneurial ecosystems – can governments help them flourish?

image-20141228-8229-1f0lygd创业生态系统—政府能助力多少? Government support for entrepreneurial ecosystems is an increasingly researched arena. The heightened interest in analyzing what governments can do, and the impact of the policy actions, comes as the imperative that governments ‘do something’ to support entrepreneurship and innovation continues to grow. In the post-Global Financial Crisis world, characterized by slow economic growth and a (relatively) jobless recovery, driving economic activity and employment opportunities is of utmost importance for public policymakers.

Under this guise, a recent World Economic Forum Conversation article investigated the modern history of the centrality of entrepreneurial ambitions on public policymakers’ agendas. The article also examines poignant studies on what national innovation systems, particularly entrepreneurial ecosystems, are, and how public policymakers can be foster such systems.

The Conversation draws entrepreneurial ecosystem policy prescriptions from a recent Small Enterprise Association of Australia and New Zealand (SEAANZ) white paper on Growing and sustaining entrepreneurial ecosystems: What they are and the role of government policy . The white paper urges – as Daniel Isenberg and others have lamented – that policymakers should avoid trying to ‘pick winners’ or ‘replicate Silicon Valley’.

Here is a condensed summary of the six ways governments can encourage entrepreneurship, based upon the SEAANZ white paper:

  1. Make the formation of entrepreneurial activity a government priority
  2. Ensure that government policy is broadly focused, not dominated by special interests
  3. Allow for natural growth not top-down solutions
  4. Ensure all industry sectors are considered not just high-tech
  5. Adopt a ‘top-down’ and ‘bottom-up’ approach devolving responsibility to local and regional authorities.
  6. Recognise that small business policy is ‘transactional’ while entrepreneurship policy is ‘relational’ in nature.

 

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