It has become more and more widely acknowledged that entrepreneurship is an extremely powerful tool for development. Even Bono has been “humbled” by the importance of entrepreneurialism in efforts to reduce poverty. However, building a culture of entrepreneurship in emerging markets takes more than establishing opportunities for financing. There is an entire ecosystem that must be taken into account when trying to foster entrepreneurship.
In the latest Economic Reform Feature Service article Robin Sitoula, executive director of Samriddhi: The Prosperity Foundation, discusses his approach to building an entrepreneurial ecosystem in Nepal. Recognizing that the organization did not have the resources to tackle the whole ecosystem Samriddhi cut across sectors to build partnerships that addressed individual issues. A wide range of partners including business associations, universities, and banks now allow Samriddhi to accomplish much more than originally possible. Organizations such as the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry help to advocate for a conducive policy environment, while Mega Bank and Laxmi Bank offer scale up capital for growing ventures. Sitoula argues, “This approach of identifying essential components and specific groups that add value to the ecosystem is a more productive, efficient, and sustainable method of fostering entrepreneurship.”
Frank Stroker is a Research Assistant at CIPE.