Beyond Collisions: How to build your entrepreneurial infrastructure (Changing the Economy) (Volume 1)

Beyond Collisions: How to build your entrepreneurial infrastructure (Changing the Economy) (Volume 1)

Posted by jack_miller | Published 6 months ago

With 6 ratings

By: Maria E. Meyers and Kate Pope Hodel

Purchased At: $24

In communities across America, people are trying to support entrepreneurs. They know entrepreneurs add jobs, character and vitality to a community’s economy. Beyond Collisions gets behind the meetups, the accelerators and the hackathons to provide a guide for how to support entrepreneurs – how to build the entrepreneurial infrastructure. Entrepreneurship is poised to take its place alongside attraction and retention as a key economic development strategy. In traditional economic development, there is a defined process for the attraction and retention of companies. With entrepreneurship, there’s been no infrastructure, no roadmap. In most communities, efforts to support entrepreneurs are fragmented. Beyond Collisions provides a clear, proven path to building the entrepreneurial infrastructure that can enable people to start and grow thriving companies. It’s not one program, no silver bullet. It’s a process, a strategy to identify, connect and empower entrepreneurial support resources, and then measure the results. Maria Meyers, Kate Pope Hodel and the SourceLink team have been working in Kansas City and across the country for 15 years, listening, learning and leading. They join with others, the entrepreneurs of entrepreneurship, to share hard-earned lessons about how to build the kind of inclusive, supportive network that encourages entrepreneurship. Beyond Collisions explores key questions. Section One addresses why should a community support entrepreneurship, what an entrepreneurial infrastructure looks like and who benefits. Section Two provides practical, tactical steps to identify, connect, empower and measure the entrepreneurial infrastructure. Section Three outlines strategies around marketing, funding and leadership. Sprinkled throughout are stories from the field, firsthand accounts of building networks, encouraging entrepreneurs and analyzing outcomes.
Anyone who is assisting entrepreneurs and building entrepreneurial communities should absorb this book. The best feature of Maria Meyers and KatePope Hodel’s book is, as the authors state, “it is about assembling the ingredients” for an entrepreneurial infrastructure “not baking the cake.” The book delivers effectively on this promise. Particular highlights for me include:

“The key point of difference between ecosystems and infrastructure is that ecosystems emerge, almost organically, from a number of different actions and activities. No organization or person “creates” an ecosystem. We can however, build an infrastructure that supports, encourages and sustains the elements that make up a healthy ecosystem.”

The book clearly recognizes the challenge for all of us in building innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystems, namely “…entrepreneurs are interested in entrepreneurship …. Not terrible interested in the entrepreneurial infrastructure.” As stated “you need more than just entrepreneurs.”
What the book says directly and indirectly about leadership and champions, such as leaders standing in the background and letting others take the credit, deserves to be widely promoted.

The book will be a significant step towards meeting the needs of entrepreneurs for tools and insights into ‘what works’ and how to measure it so we can move towards the next objective of “baking the cake.”

- Anonymous

The authors have concisely explained how they have helped over fifty communities build a digital bridge between entrepreneurs and resources. I enjoyed the practical tips, challenges and best practices. They established a realistic timeframe of ten years or more for dramatic change to be noticed. Successful communities are going to have to be intentional in supporting entrepreneurs or risk being left behind by more enlightened competing regions. A must read for economic development leaders and academics as well as entrepreneurs.

- Anonymous

Maria and Kate have documented actionable best practices for supporting small business and entrepreneur growth. I am fortunate to also have direct experience working with them in Kansas City through the City's business customer service center, KCBizCare. We have shared ideas and programs for over 10 years and have been highly successful with entrepreneuership in economic development.

- Anonymous

A must read for anyone in the NEW economic development world. Entrepreneurs are more vital today than ever and this is a must red for those working to build sustainable ecosystems to support them. Thanks for sharing your real world insights!

- Anonymous

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