An Ecosystem for Job Creation
There isn’t a simple or easy explanation for Roanoke’s next big thing in business, but understanding it will be crucial to successful job creation.
The “entrepreneurial ecosystem” has been adopted in many parts of the country in order to increase entrepreneurial success by providing a supportive framework with no central figure. Rather, it involves a core of co-equal parts that together, produce positive results for everyone involved.
Samantha Steidle, who identifies as an educator, researcher and advocate for entrepreneurial initiatives, is finishing her Ph.D. in Community College Leadership with a research focus on the power of entrepreneurial ecosystems.
“Everyone wants it to be so simple and the thing is, the world in general is becoming more complex. Smart collaboration is no different,” she says. “The common denominator that hasn’t changed and, in fact, has become more important than ever, is the power of relationships. That has nothing to do with geography or hierarchy.
“Here’s what people don’t get, but it’s important that they do. A strong entrepreneurial ecosystem involves: Academic players, including community colleges and four-year institutions; government supporters and policymakers; content creators including media, researchers and other writers; corporate supporters; investors and venture capitalists; infrastructure, including broadband; physical spaces like CoLab, RAMP, and The Hive; service providers including lawyers, accountants, bankers, and advisors, like the SBDC; entrepreneurial events and conferences held by groups like technology council Virginia Tech/Carilion Research Institute and Virginia Western Community College.”
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