The Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Building Playbook Draft 3.0

Summary of Study

Bottom LineThe third annual Kauffman Foundation ESHIP Summit aims to implement discoveries and designs identified at the previous two ESHIP summits to advance ecosystem building as a new approach to economic development to help more people and communities achieve economic independence through entrepreneurial success. ESHIP can be summarized in three words: discover, design, deliver.

The discovery phase of ESHIP began by listening to the specific needs of ecosystem builders. At last year’s ESHIP, design goals were implemented for building a more robust field for ecosystem builders and identifying the groundwork for initiatives that could advance those goals. Now, it’s time for us to deliver on these plans. We will take steps to move closer to achieving the ESHIP Goals and to develop a robust professional field for ecosystem builders.

The ecosystem building field shares an interest in leveraging the ecosystem building approach to support meaningful change for disconnected entrepreneurs, those who are underserved or lack the networks they need due to their race, gender, initial wealth status, geography, or other factors.

The aim of the second ESHIP Summit was to review the first year of work on discovering the current state of the entrepreneurial ecosystem building field and to launch a new year of work aimed at designing solutions to move the field forward. To guide the 2018 Summit and set an agenda for future work, the Kauffman Foundation synthesized the community's input at the 2017 Summit and beyond to propose seven ESHIP goals. These ESHIP goals are a set of collective objectives to strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem building field and to help our community prioritize, organize, and collaborate.

The Ecosystem Builders' Declaration of Interdependence

  • We believe that there is a need for a new model for inclusive economic development, one that takes into account the whole system.

  • We know that to build these complex yet accessible systems, we must act in interdependent, inclusive, and equitable ways.

  • We understand that these living systems evolve in complex ways, and that without collectively-held intent, they cannot grow to their full natural potential.

  • We recognize that to surface this collectively-held intent, there is a new emerging role, profession, and community of practice that is required – that of the ecosystem builder.

  • We are mindful that as an emerging field, these ideas will be new to many people. We must practice grace, humility, and empathy as we work with each other to evolve these new ways of thinking.

  • We embrace that we are a large group of leaders and catalysts with diverse backgrounds, skills, experiences, expertise, motivations, and visions for the future.

  • We are encouraged that in a world of increasing complexity, it is the inclusion of these diverse perspectives that will allow us to innovate, design, and deliver sustainable solutions for our ever-evolving communities.

  • We, as a community of practice, are here to support the development of 1) each other; 2) each others' communities; and 3) the principles, culture, tools, and metrics necessary to infuse entrepreneurship more deeply into our economics.

  • We acknowledge that change is difficult and requires sacrifice, and that growing healthy ecosystems often requires balancing the maximization of short-term outputs against a need to work with a long-term view. These challenges are essential – and important – to our success.

  • We pledge to pursue this vision together – to ensure that the makers, the doers, and the dreamers from all demographics of society have the opportunity to change their circumstances and to have a positive influence on themselves and the world.

Read the full report HERE