Article by Eszter Szabo
Woman / Business / Angels

The good news is that local players can build an innovative ecosystem. The bad news is that only local players can make it.

As we can read in the World Bank’s study, there are five elements to a healthy functioning innovation ecosystem:

  • people,
  • infrastructure,
  • enabling environment,
  • economic assets and
  • networking assets.

But why is it an essential element to have more and more entrepreneurs launch their innovative startups? Because the ecosystem serves as a fuel, it either helps local startups fly or means a headwind slowing them. Let’s see the five elements the World Bank identified one by one.

The People

People are the most important as they have the entrepreneurial spirit, maintain their university alumni network, have massive experience as employees, can be mentors or become mentees, represent access to talent for companies, and undergo various training programs.

The Infrastructure

If they are handy they serve as an enabler. Without it, start-up ideas abort. In Africa, the internet is less accessible than in Europe; therefore, Africans use mobile for innovation. Office space is vital as startups can host their employees and interact with each other. Startups want their headquarters downtown, where transportation is perfect. There are coffee shops available and event spaces for get-togethers and networking opportunities.

The Enabling Environment

Tax incentives and business angel investors have to be developed by different stakeholders and policymakers. You do not launch a start-up if you have to pay taxes of the company just registered. In developed countries, individuals can deduct some of their invested money from their income tax base. Grants are essential as enterprises are desperately in need of cash. IP (intellectual property) rights provide a safety net for your innovative solution. People have a significant problem with China, where IP protection does not exist. Your neighbor thinks they are just learning from you.

The Economic Assets

They consist of a large group from the Academic world around you, international and local companies, and service providers and funding institutions. Business angels represent the first professional set of investors with whom the founder meets. Their supportive approach to founders and ideas is super important.

The Networking Assets

They’re available around where and whom one can meet. Events, meetups, co-working spaces, mentors, advisors, accelerators, incubators, hackathons, and start-up weekends are forms where you can become a success. Participation helps you better understand the business environment, the partners, and the other players.

Join the local innovation ecosystem to make it stronger w/ the unique experience you have, not to mention your financial means. Ok, a small fraction of it! You would make the local system more robust and find yourself in the middle of business creation!