Endeavor White Paper 2013: The State of Entrepreneurship in South Africa

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DEFINITION OF ENTREPRE- NEURIAL ECOSYSTEM The Fourth State of Entrepreneurship in South Africa Summit defined an Entre- preneurial Ecosystem as the elements, other than the individual entrepreneur, that foster or inhibit the success of high- impact businesses. Daniel Isenberg, (Babson Global Profes- sor of Entrepreneurship Practice and the founding executive director of the Babson Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Project (BEEP) a leading authority on international entrepreneurship who has taught at Harvard, Columbia, Insead, Reykjavik, Theseus, and the Technion, and has been an entrepreneur, venture capitalist and angel investor) holds that the entrepreneurship ecosystem consists of six domains: "A conducive culture, enabling policies and leadership, avail- ability of appropriate finance, quality human capital, venture-friendly markets for products, and a range of institutional and infrastructural supports." He further breaks these down into fifty specific components. "Each of these is critical to entrepre- neurship – yet insufficient to sustain it," he says "The key is to integrate them all into one holistic system." 1 FOCUS OF THE SUMMIT The main focus of the debate was on high-impact entrepreneurs. Endeavor says: "High-impact entrepreneurs create thriving companies that employ hun- dreds, even thousands of people, and generate millions in wages and revenues. And they have the power to inspire countless others as leading role models. Together, these entrepreneurs hold the key to sustained economic growth in emerging markets." AIMS OF THE SUMMIT In inviting experts in government, academia and the corporate sector, as well as entrepreneurs, to join the debate, the organisers – Endeavor South Africa, SAP and SAB – aimed to strengthen the network of experts in the area of entre- preneurship. The idea was to focus on only four ecosystem elements (access to capital, infrastructure, networking and mentor- ship, and procurement) and to break them down into smaller segments by examining how they hinder or help high- growth entrepreneurs. We limited our- selves to these four elements because we understood that the debate is wide and complex and that we could hope to achieve no more in one day than assist in fostering the debate. More importantly, though, we wanted to identify at least one key change in each of these four ecosystem elements that would promote the growth of high-im- pact entrepreneurship in South Africa. definitionfocusaims 1 http://www.forbes.com/sites/danisenberg/ 2011/05/25/introducing- the-entrepreneurship-ecosystem-four-defining-characteristics/ 4

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