Strengthening entrepreneurship

Ediscussion: Strengthening entrepreneurship by understanding failure and catalyzing ecosystems, November 2015
Microlinks, in partnership with BEAM Exchange

This two-day discussion on the topic of entrepreneurship, focussed on harnessing failure and the ecosystems that support entrepreneurs. All the discussions are available on Dgroups.

Day 1: Understanding failure
Facilitators: Eileen Hoffman and Christy Sisko, Chemonics


  • How can we change the entrepreneurship paradigm in development programming to better leverage the real world failure and setbacks which occur during various stages of entrepreneurship?
  • How can development programs better align their success metrics with entrepreneurial metrics?
  • What is the role of failure in the behaviour of market actors? How can we create the right conditions for failure to be a driver of entrepreneurship?
  • What are effective ways to target high-potential entrepreneurs in strategic sector and certain groups (e.g. women and youth)? How should prior experiences play into this process?

Day 2: Looking at the ecosystem
Facilitators: Kate McElligott and Stephanie Buck, Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs


  • What evidence do we have that demonstrates the success of firm-level support vs broader ecosystem actor support and which drives greater impact?
  • Which areas of intervention in the ecosystem have had broad impact? Examples of programs?
  • In trying to drive collective action to change the ecosystem, who should play what role? How do we best go about this?
  • What are effective ways to measure ecosystem change? Who has an interest in measuring that change? Who would benefit from that analysis?


All the discussions can be accessed on Dgroups.

Strengthening entrepreneurship by understanding failure, Christy Sisko and Eileen Hoffman
Key takeaways from the discussion on how to foster acceptance of failure in entrepreneurship programmes.

Catalyzing ecosystems for entrepreneurship, Stephanie Buck
Summary of the discussion on effective ways to measure ecosystem change and drive ecosystem interventions forward.