A 'Round The World Ticket To The Best Entrepreneurial Ecosystems On The Planet by Forbes

By Amy Guttman, 10.04.2015.

A round-the-world ticket to the best ecosystems on the planet is a tall order, but, I intend to deliver. I’ve been writing about interesting entrepreneurs doing interesting things on this blog, and I’ll continue to do so, but I’m shifting focus slightly. Or rather, I’m creating a focus, specifically turning my lens to entrepreneurial ecosystems – what governments do, or don’t to support them, shining a spotlight on those that are emerging, established, or simply thriving. It’s a topic I’ve long been interested in, and have covered in some detail, from places like Iran, where I explored the dynamic startup scene, partly a result of sanctions, fuelled by 20-somethings adapting Western goods and services websites like the brothers who created an Iranian Amazon and a woman who developed her version of Groupon to address local needs. There, like most places, the ecosystem isn’t limited to technology. New hotels going up to accommodate tourism and foreign investors contribute as much as startups. And some entrepreneurs, like Anna Sani, are successful despite a decidedly low-tech presence for her fashion business. She markets her designs exclusively through Facebook, currently banned in Iran, but accessed through a VPN, and Instagram.

Ecosystems are nothing without people, so I’ll carry on seeking out those synthesizing communities with their captivating ideas, innovative or quirky concepts, and successful execution. I’ll do that by exploring my own city of London and its incredible growth as a hub for tech and other entrepreneurs. But, I’ll also give in to my innate wanderlust, travelling to nearby places in Europe, as well as more distant, developing markets in Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and Asia. And, of course, I’ll find time to feature interesting ways entrepreneurs are changing the game in parts of the US, as so much of what starts there trickles its way across the globe.

To kick off, I’ll begin with a look at three distinctly different ecosystems and environments, in neighboring East African countries: Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda. They may share borders, but, like countries in Europe or states in America, they couldn’t be more different. There’s a lot more on the horizon…so grab a seat on the entrepreneurial express. I promise it’ll be an engaging and compelling ride. And if there are places and people I need to know about, I trust you’ll get in touch.

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