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Entrepreneurial ecosystems gain momentum, stimulate growth

May 11, 2017

The Kauffman Foundation released a new report analyzing entrepreneur development in St. Louis and Kansas City. Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Momentum and Maturity, The Important Role of Entrepreneur Development Organizations and Their Activities, by Ken Harrington, proposes a framework that names a four-step entrepreneur development process from problems and ideas to customer-funded venture that feeds into higher-stage venture development and, ultimately, economic development. Under this framework, Harrington explores how entrepreneurship is supported in each community by organizations such as KCSourceLink and BioSTL. Findings include that community-led initiatives provide the bulk of entrepreneurship activities and that most participants in these activities are in the startup stage of their idea’s development.

Harrington argues that entrepreneur development needs to be better understood and that resources should be dedicated to support new metrics and greater funding as means to improve the ultimate economic development outcomes that benefit a regional economy.  In his analysis, greater connectivity across entrepreneur communities, refined asset mapping and more metrics will result in more effective entrepreneur development and improved outcomes.