Monday, January 17, 2022

g-f(2)827 THE BIG PICTURE OF THE DIGITAL AGE (1/17/2022), HBR, Research: How Entrepreneurship Can Revitalize Local Communities

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"g-f" fishing of golden knowledge (GK) of the fabulous treasure of the digital ageThe New World, Entrepreneurship Can Revitalize Local Communities (1/17/2022)  g-f(2)426 

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How Entrepreneurship Can Revitalize Local Communities

  • The authors discuss the results of an eight-year investigation into two organizations that took opposing approaches to supporting entrepreneurs in Detroit. 
  • Ventures that focus on scaling up may achieve financial success, but they will never turn a Detroit into a Silicon Valley by themselves. To make a meaningful impact on local communities, business leaders and policymakers should foster a mindset of scaling deep, supporting not only the ventures that offer strong returns, but also those that lift up poorer places to achieve sustained self-reliance.
  • As Joel Bothello, Concordia University Research Chair in Resilience and Institutions, succinctly summarizes, “We need less fetishization of blitz-scaling in entrepreneurship and more attention to ‘scaling deep’ that addresses local problems in a more sustained manner.”

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Suntae Kim

Suntae Kim is Assistant Professor of Management and Organization at Boston College’s Carroll School of Management. He studies innovation processes in adverse contexts, such as urban entrepreneurship, minority entrepreneurship, and crisis management. He received his doctoral degree in Business Administration from University of Michigan.

Anna Kim

Anna Kim is Assistant Professor in Management for Sustainability at Desautels Faculty of Management, McGill University. She received her PhD from the University of Cambridge. Anna’s research explores sustainable development through the lens of time and space, with a particular focus on the coordination of short- and long-term considerations in impoverished communities.

Extra-condensed knowledge

Lessons learned, HBR

Efforts have had decidedly mixed results 

Golden Knowledge (GK) Juice

  • Research has shown that entrepreneurship training for underprivileged founders has little impact on firm profitability. Entrepreneurial initiatives often fail to address urgent local issues, and high-tech growth in poor regions tends to enlarge income gaps rather than creating much-anticipated trickle-down effects. A recent review of more than 200 articles on entrepreneurship and poverty alleviation found that entrepreneurial initiatives aiming to address poverty through venture investment have been generally ineffective. A study that analyzed the impact of entrepreneurship across 44 countries similarly concluded that growth-oriented entrepreneurship did not generate as much impact in emerging economies as it did in developed economies, and that regions generally only benefit from high-growth entrepreneurship after reaching a certain threshold level of development.

Condensed knowledge

Lessons learned, HBR

An eight-year investigation  

Golden Knowledge (GK) Juice

  • Why are these entrepreneurship-driven efforts to boost regional prosperity — strategies that have been extremely effective in hubs such as Silicon Valley — so difficult to replicate in impoverished places? And are there any alternative approaches to entrepreneurship that could be more successful in revitalizing local communities?
  • To explore these questions, we conducted an eight-year investigation of two organizations dedicated to revitalizing Detroit through entrepreneurship. While the two pursued the same goal, they adopted very different approaches. The first organization, which we’ll call ACCEL, was a traditional business accelerator. ACCEL identified ventures with high-growth potential that were likely to attract venture capital investment. It provided mentorship and resources to help them grow as quickly as possible. The second, which we’ll call GREEN, was an alternative incubator. GREEN was founded on a philosophy that business should “grow like a living organism,” and thus encouraged its startups to leverage resources that already existed in the local community to nurture their growth.
  • These ventures never expanded beyond Detroit, but they successfully implemented customized, location-specific solutions to address location-specific problems. As one GREEN founder eloquently described his company’s growth philosophy, “I want us to be like an oak tree that takes all of its energy for the first 20 to 50 years to set deep, deep roots, [and then] produces a lot of deep, rich offspring [and becomes] the anchor of the ecosystem.”
  • To be clear, founders from both GREEN and ACCEL were motivated by a shared mission of reviving Detroit. But their differing approaches to growth led them to make vastly different impacts. While the ventures that focused on scaling up expanded beyond Detroit to raise investment in their next fundraising rounds, those that scaled deep instead invested in fostering lasting, local relationships, leveraging local resources and solving local problems.
  • This suggests that it may be time to rethink how we understand entrepreneurship-driven local development. 
    • Our research illustrates that venture-capital-backed, rapid expansion is not the only way to grow — ventures can also grow by deepening local embeddedness, simultaneously feeding on and cultivating local resources.
  • If the goal is to harness the power of entrepreneurship to revitalize impoverished places, we need to think about entrepreneurial ventures not as investment vehicles designed to maximize return, but as collaborative platforms that enable us to leverage local resources in creative ways to address urgent local problems. And this mindset shift has implications not only for how founders and advisors think about new ventures, but also for how policymakers support the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

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  • Category 2: The Big Picture of the Digital Age
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    • Inherited from sources + Supported by the knowledge of one or more experts + Supported by research.


“genioux facts”: The online programme on MASTERING “THE BIG PICTURE OF THE DIGITAL AGE”, g-f(2)827, Fernando Machuca, January 17, 2022, Corporation.


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