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Building Entrepreneurial Ecosystems — A Global Perspective

Where are the next hotspots of innovation and what are the key ingredients to their success ? I set out to answer these questions in an in-depth report for the Canadian Media Fund’s Trends website. What I found is there are three critical factors in fostering an entrepreneurial ecosystem:

  1. Entrepreneurs lead the ecosystem;
  2. An openness to new members and ideas;
  3. Affordable spaces where entrepreneurs can live, work and congregate

I used this framework to examine three very different start-up scenes: Cape Town (South Africa), Bogotá (Colombia), and the small but innovative city of Malmö (Sweden). Here are some highlights from the research:

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Digital Transformation from Complexity to Opportunity

We are living through the information revolution and like the industrial revolution before it the way businesses are built and operate is radically being reshaped. Internet technologies are redefining customer relationships forcing them to be more direct, immediate and constant.

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Digital India

There are only two countries in the world with a population of more than one billion people: China and India. From a digital adoption standpoint, India’s growth rate and potential are staggering.

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Facebook Connects Emerging Markets

Facebook is leading the charge in this global initiative through its internet.org initiative, which it describes as a “global partnership between technology leaders, nonprofits, local communities and experts who are working together to bring the internet to the two thirds of the world’s population that doesn’t (sic!) have it”. Facebook’s main premise has been just because you own an internet-connected phone doesn’t mean you are going to use it to access the internet; other incentives should exist for accessing the internet through your mobile device.

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Connecting the Next Billion Internet Users

It took 22 years to connect two billion people to the internet. Over the next few years, that number will more than double as the global internet population swells to over four billion. This new generation of connected individuals is young, connects through mobile devices and lives in emerging markets.

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