Flipping the Entrepreneurship Ecosystem

A black female entrepreneur sitting at her laptop with her coffee working and using her Coaching by Tamu Business Growth Planner
Photo Credit: Vivante Media

I was a classroom educator in another life and often used the instruction methodology of flipping the classroom, where the resource material is provided, often before the instruction. Students engage with the content in the classroom through problem-solving activities. The goal is to allow experiential engagement with the content, encourage real-time critical thinking and hold student attention. The classroom, in this context, is a safe space for experimentation.

I use the analogy to posit that the entrepreneurship ecosystem should be engineered as a safe space for experimentation. In the Caribbean region, we are obsessed with the ordered, the tidy and the linear when entrepreneurship is anything but that. Our ecosystem stakeholders in the public sector seem not to realize that we must flip the ecosystem and that investing is required for testing and obtaining proof of concept. Instead, they require proof of concept without providing a safe space for experimentation and the required resources to build a minimum viable product or service. This is one of the many reasons we have a proliferation of micro-enterprises and a dearth of medium to large businesses in emerging industries.

Perhaps our obsession with the linear is the natural consequence of our colonial past when the ordered and the bureaucratic were presented to us as proof of civility. The obsession is trapping us, stymieing our economies and dampening our earning potential.