Workshop: Towards Inclusive Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

By Samantha Carty, Momentum 

Day 3 of the UIIN conference in June 2022 saw WeRin host an interactive workshop titled: Towards Inclusive Entrepreneurial Ecosystems. Dr Sue Rossano-Rivero, FH Münster, presented our project aims and partners to a sizable audience. She was supported by Dr Ingrid Wakkee and Saskia Stoker of Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, who gave an overview of the current research and projects that are already being undertaken on the topic of inclusive entrepreneurship.

They put special emphasis on key insights generated so far, with a particular focus on insights about female entrepreneurship but with links to other ‘underrepresented’ groups. This was followed by an introduction to the Inclusive Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Canvas. This canvas was developed by Rossano-Rivero and Stroila (2022) based on a recent paper by Stoker et al. (2021). This canvas enables practitioners to model macro, meso, and micro levels elements of their local entrepreneurial ecosystems and allows them to engage in a structured discussion in which they compare and contrast different (institutional and regional) ecosystems and develop novel ideas on how to improve upon this inclusivity.

The workshop could then begin in earnest as every group received their canvas to complete according to their institutional or regional ecosystem. The groups looked at each level (macro, meso, and micro) across several different topics such as finance, stereotypes, networks, regulatory obligations, and education to name a few. We shared our experiences from our ecosystems and then with a selection of green and red stickers furnished by Iulia Stroila, FH Münster we coded our canvases according to whether an element was present in the ecosystem or not and to what extent it helped or hindered inclusivity. We then came together as one collective group to describe our ecosystems and formulate ideas on how to improve the current situation. This was the most revealing part of the workshop as we developed a greater understanding of the differences between ecosystems which was striking across countries and cultures. We all learned that children in Finland take part in an entrepreneur week at primary school level and unanimously agreed on the importance of this kind of early-stage role modelling. We look forward to more detailed findings from this workshop and how we plan the next steps.