Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

In-Depth Report

Since the emergence of Silicon Valley, cities and countries worldwide have been attempting to match its success with innovative high-growth companies. Apple, Google, Facebook and others not only fueled an economic boom regionally but also spurred global growth of the innovation economy.

What does it take to create an environment where entrepreneurship and innovation can flourish ? Why are some places better at creating them ?

Fostering Entrepreneurship is complex enough – and promoting it adds a tricky collaborative layer, an “entrepreneurial ecosystem.” This framework allies investors, government and educational institutions, industry associations, corporations and entrepreneurs themselves in a dynamic and interdependent relationship. This network of relationships is often referred to as an ecosystem.

Three critical factors in fostering an entrepreneurial ecosystem:

  • Entrepreneurs lead the ecosystem;

  • An openness to new members and ideas;

  • Affordable spaces where entrepreneurs can live, work and congregate

As internet connectivity stretches across Africa, Latin America and Asia, new regional centres for innovation and entrepreneurship continue to emerge. These regional centres are key as they offer economic development opportunities in local markets.

Based on the framework outlined above, this report examines three very different ecosystems: the start-up scenes in Johannesburg to Cape Town (South Africa), Bogotá (Colombia), and the small but innovative city of Malmö (Sweden).



Building Entrepreneurial Ecosystems – A Global Perspective

What does it take to create an environment where entrepreneurship and innovation can flourish ? Why are some places better at creating them? Answers come from various sources.

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Cape Town

The tech scene on the African continent is filled with potential. While the largest African economies rely on resource extraction, the proliferation of internet connected devices has created all sorts of new opportunities. The continent’s key digital hubs include Nairobi in Kenya, Lagos in Nigeria and Cape Town in South Africa.

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Bogotá

Bogotá’s start-up ecosystem is on the cusp of something big. Colombia is the third-largest Spanish-speaking country in the world and with the stagnation of the Brazilian, Argentinean and Venezuelan economies it is primed to become the new tech hub of Latin America.

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Malmö

Malmö (Sweden) is a relatively small city with a population of under a half a million but has a thriving startup scene that punches above its weight class.

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