Originally posted in our September 2023 Top of Mind Newsletter.
We’ve all seen think-pieces about the value of entrepreneurial ecosystems, from venture capital funding to small business development centers, incubators, and fab labs. These pieces tend to favor the tech, lifestyle, or service industries. They are often generalized in a way that can lead to gaps in policy development, support strategies, and even who is included in the ecosystem definition.
One group of innovators that we continue to be under-considered is, ironically, a foundational piece of the very ecosystems we’re talking about: teachers. Teacher entrepreneurs are at the forefront of innovating and experimenting with new ways to teach others skills. Ed-tech is often written about, but what about those who are creating value and solving problems in the classroom? In this thought-provoking study, we see the reflexive nature of the ecosystem on entrepreneurial teachers.
One takeaway from this is that ecosystems are not a one-size-fits-all solution. And, much like the natural system we get the name from, we need to consider the environment on the ground.