What’s the color of entrepreneurship?
December 8, 2015 Editor 0
From November 12 to 19, the World Bank Group celebrated Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) with a series of events focused on the role of entrepreneurship for development. More than 500 entrepreneurs, academics and practitioners gathered from all over the world to discuss one key question: What does entrepreneurship look like in developing countries?
After listening to experts presenting their research and entrepreneurs discussing their inspiring stories, I believe the question has multiple answers. Like the GEW logo — a multicolor compass — entrepreneurship is a spectrum that embraces different realities, from social enterprises and community-led businesses to young startups and multinational firms.
So what’s the color of entrepreneurship?
To aspiring entrepreneurs around Cape Town, South Africa, entrepreneurship probably looks red. Red like the logo of the local RLab, a center founded in 2008 by Marlon Parker — a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and an alumnus of President Obama’s Young African Leaders initiative — to empower local communities through impact investing and social enterprise incubation.
Opening the Global Entrepreneurship Forum, Marlon talked about his mission to build “economies of hope.” In his welcoming incubation space, painted in a warm red, unemployed people, students and dropouts can experiment with new technologies, connect with mentors and participate in training programs to learn everything they need to launch a local business. His model incubates new enterprises within the community, with the community and for the community. Marlon has even introduced a local “reward currency”: a credit that can be earned only by doing good actions within the community and that, like real cash, can be spent at the Rlab and in participating stores.
But what conditions enable local businesses to reach regional or even global scale? This question was the focus of “From Start-ups to Scale-ups: the Realities of Growth Entrepreneurship,” a seminar organized by the World Bank Group in partnership with the Brookings Institution and the Global Entrepreneurship Research Network.
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Categories: World Bank PSD
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