|At the Growing Entrepreneurial Communities summit in Kansas City May 4-5, I challenged attendees to a dream exercise. As some of you know, I often do this with the communities I coach and find that it helps focus thoughts and goals. Here, I posed a question to the audience before they broke into deep dive peer discussions about e-ecosystems.
What is an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem? Panel left to right: Jill Nichols, Rice County Kansas; Tammie Sweet, Grow Florida and Don Macke
DREAM EXERCISE. If you had $1M a year forever to invest in your community's entrepreneurial ecosystem, how would you invest it?
Read what some bright minds in entrepreneurial economic development had to say on Twitter #GrowingEShip:
Jeff Reynolds @ThinkJeffThink
Micro-grants (<$15k) to encourage people to build something - anything! Not just about the initial grant, but mindset shifts that will echo through the community.
Simone Marie @justsimonee
With $1 million, Joanna would convene key players in the development of the entrepreneurial ecosystem and a loan fund.
paul wright @paul_pwright
My $1M allocation 25% Social Venture Lending Fund(s) 25% Youth/education, 35% Coordinator/operations, 15% endowment
Dreams... Establish a forgivable loan program for entrepreneurs that create permanent jobs, forgiving principal for each job.
Greg T Jones @AskGregT
Create a revolving loan fund and a coalition to support an entrepreneurial community center.
Norris Krueger @entrep_thinking
I'd spend the million $ on putting the very best deep experiential entrep ed throughout P-PhD and out in community. Everywhere!
If I had a million dollars to grow Lincoln, Nebraska's (my home) entrepreneurial ecosystems I would (1) commission an entrepreneurial talent mapping study to better understand our potential, (2) staff a team to bring all the players, resources and entrepreneurs together to create a more robust system of support, and (3) bring US SourceLink to Lincoln to help organize and manage our system.
You can find my presentation along with notes, photos and other presentations from the summit by visiting our website
. Watch your email for thought papers and other content we are working on based on our observations and interactions in Kansas City.
And don't forget to answer the dream question yourself! How would YOU invest a million dol
ars a year forever in your community's entrepreneurial ecosystem?
Co-Founder and Director of Entrepreneurial Communities