Entrepreneur Networks for All

Over the past year, the Paris-based OECD and its unit on Local Economic and Employment Development (LEED) have produced a very useful series of guides on “inclusive entrepreneurship.”  For OECD, “inclusive entrepreneurship” refers to business support strategies that focus on “non-mainstream” populations which might include youth, the under-or unemployed, immigrants, and minority residents.   The guides focus on European examples, but are of course relevant for many different types of societies and economies.   The series includes guides on youth and senior citizen entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship for people with disabilities, and strategies for financing inclusive entrepreneurship.  I’ve been particularly impressed with the latest guide on “Expanding Networks for Inclusive Entrepreneurship.”    We know that these entrepreneur networks are deemed vital for business success, and that innovative regions like Silicon Valley are home to dozens of such organization.  Yet, creating and sustaining these networks in poorer or less populated regions can be a challenge.  The new LEED guide offers some useful guidance on how to address and hopefully overcome these obstacles.  It also includes great mini-case studies of successful efforts from across Europe.

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