Driving innovation: The power of entrepreneurial ecosystems - Asset Display Page

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By Jorge Lukowski


srpna 09, 2023

The entrepreneurial ecosystem has proved to be a key engine for innovation and economic development around the world, a dynamic which was the focus of the South Summit, held this past June in Madrid. The Summit is one of the most prominent events bringing together entrepreneurs, investors and industry leaders to encourage the exchange of ideas and collaboration, emphasizing how imperative it is to understand the integral role played by these ecosystems in shaping the future of business.

Analysts from the management consulting firm Gartner have highlighted how startups are redefining the way business is conducted. Although their research estimates that 90% of startups fail in their first years — exposing the challenges faced by those who travel the path of entrepreneurship — successful startups have demonstrated their ability to revolutionize entire industries and generate a significant impact.

Among the areas we are seeing these forces most strongly influencing the global entrepreneurial ecosystem are the digital and technology fields, according to Startup Genome’s "Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2022." For example, their study indicates that fintech, health-tech, e-commerce, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Blockchain and renewable energy are attracting the most startup investment.

This boom in betting on entrepreneurship is demonstrated by projects that have captured the attention of investors, such as SpaceX (aerospace), Stripe (fintech), Airbnb (hosting platform), Robinhood (online investment), DoorDash (food delivery) and Brazil’s Nubank (digital banking), all of which have transformed their own industries.

The report indicates that the number of technology startups grew by 11% in 2021, reaching nearly 82,000 startups worldwide. Moreover, during the first half of 2021, investments in technology startups reached $288 billion, which represents an increase of 157% when compared to the same period of the previous year.

Entrepreneurs and the future of business

Entrepreneurial ecosystems are playing a decisive role in generating economic opportunities and driving innovation, according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM). With this in mind, it is important to examine the trends that reveal how entrepreneurs are shaping the future of business.

Startup Genome reveals that the United States remains in the lead for startup investment with a 47% share of total investment and is followed by China, the United Kingdom, India and Germany. Some of the top investors include venture capital firms such as Sequoia Capital, Accel Partners, SoftBank Group, GV (formerly Google Ventures) and Andreessen Horowitz.

Similarly, the World Bank ranking of countries with the greatest advantages for starting business points to the United States, the United Kingdom, and Singapore as the markets that offer the most favorable environments, largely because they have a solid entrepreneurial ecosystem along with access to capital and resources. At the same time, the Global Development Report, also from the World Bank, highlights that countries like India and China are also generating a significant number of new companies, due to their accelerated growth and focus on innovation and advanced technologies.

Another relevant aspect to consider is that technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) or Virtual Reality are playing a fundamental role in the emergence of new disruptive startups. Added to this is the growing awareness around sustainability and social responsibility giving rise to a new wave of ventures focused on generating a positive impact on the world.

The advances are tangible and promising. However, there are still significant challenges, for example, regarding the gender gap and women's participation. The “GEM Women's Entrepreneurship 2020 – 2022” report indicates that on a global basis, only 14% of new businesses are created by women. Altering this scenario is pivotal and can be achieved through the dedicated promotion of inclusive policies and specific support programs that encourage the participation of women in the entrepreneurial sphere.

Spain, an attractive country for entrepreneurs

In recent years, Spain has experienced remarkable growth in this area and is becoming an increasingly welcoming country for entrepreneurs. According to the "GEM Spain 2022-2023" report, the percentage of those who intend to start a new business in the coming years is 9.4%, the highest figure since 2012. These optimistic statistics mean that approximately 2 out of 15 adults would be involved in starting a new business in Spain in the near future.

The entrepreneurial ecosystem in Spain has evolved favorably, driven by various government initiatives and the support of private organizations. One of the key factors that has contributed to this growth is the improvement in infrastructure and policies that encourage business creation. In addition, the availability of financing and the increase in investment in technology startups have also been essential to boost this ecosystem.

These developments are highly visible within certain Spanish cities. For example, Barcelona is one of the most active entrepreneurial ecosystems in all of Europe, with a solid community of startups. The Mediterranean city is an epicenter of important international events such as the Mobile World Congress, among others. Madrid, the capital, has also experienced significant growth in the number of emerging companies, attracting the attention of international investors.

Another outstanding aspect of the Spanish market is the collaboration between startups and large companies to establish open innovation programs and links to drive digital transformation and promote disruptive innovation.

Although the entrepreneurial landscape in Spain shows remarkable progress, there are still challenges to overcome for the creation and growth of new companies. These include access to financing, especially for those who are new to entrepreneurship along with the still complex bureaucracy and regulatory burden.

What are the characteristics of an entrepreneur?

According to a recent study by the Harvard Business Review, the startup founders with the best chances of success are those who start their business around the age of 45. Their profiles are diverse, spanning different sectors and experiences. Some come from entrepreneurial backgrounds, while others are young innovators who have found opportunities in emerging niches.

Without a doubt, entrepreneurs with their resilient personalities and open-minded attitude to learning are leading this change. An inspiring example of someone who has managed to overcome challenges and achieve success is Elon Musk, founder of Tesla and SpaceX. With a bold vision and a visionary mindset, Musk has revolutionized the automotive and space industries. His perseverance in the face of obstacles and his focus on creating sustainable technologies have made him a benchmark in the world of entrepreneurship.

Looking to the future, we can glimpse an exciting panorama for the profile of the entrepreneur. To the extent that we continue working to promote diversity and equal opportunities within entrepreneurship itself, while nurturing entrepreneurial ecosystems to stimulate innovation and economic growth, startups will continue to take center stage as true agents of impact and change.


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