Foreword: Creating the Environment for Entrepreneurial Success


Around the globe, entrepreneurship is central to innovation, wealth creation, and job growth, as well as to political stability. At its core, entrepreneurship is about new ways of organizing, new methods of production, new goods, new services, and new markets. Entrepreneurship makes markets more competitive, encourages investment, and inspires the job and economic growth that is so vitally important to every nation.

Entrepreneurs themselves are a diverse lot, from street vendors in Cairo’s Tahrir Square to the technology titans of Silicon Valley. But regardless of their location, their size, or their industry, the environments in which entrepreneurs operate – the ecosystem ­– can and does dramatically impact their survival, their growth, and their success. That is why this ecosystem must nurture and support entrepreneurial startup and growth – to ensure that entrepreneurs operate on a level playing field, that their rights are protected, and that the same rules are consistently applied to all.

Some of the components of a supportive entrepreneurial ecosystem include a legal and regulatory framework that encourages certainty, good educational systems, and training opportunities that are responsive to the needs of entrepreneurs as well as the needs of their work force. Importantly, entrepreneurs need access to capital and financing. They need a supportive culture that embraces and celebrates entrepreneurship. A healthy ecosystem encourages individuals to act on entrepreneurial intentions and then supports that action. It provides political space for businesses to advocate for pro-entrepreneurial policies, and upholds the rule of law to ensure businesses operate with the same opportunities and the same set of regulations.

It’s amazing what entrepreneurs can do in the marketplace and what they accomplish when they engage in policy. They bring their innovative ideas, passion, and energy to both stages. Supporting the entrepreneurship ecosystem as well as individual entrepreneurs is a central part of making democracy deliver for every entrepreneur and all citizens.

Karen Kerrigan is President and CEO of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council and former Chair of the CIPE Board.

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