Governments have taken notice of the impact that private sector investments can have on economic growth in emerging markets as a poverty alleviation strategy. Some government entities are taking that investment to the next level by taking an ecosystem approach to entrepreneurship. For example, USAID’s PACE initiative focuses on a key gap in many emerging market entrepreneurial ecosystems: support for early stage enterprises. 

Multinational corporations like Nestle and SAB MIller are increasingly recognizing the benefit strong ecosystems have on their own sustainability, and are actively taking an ecosystem approach along their distribution and supply chain.  

For example, Banorte, a leading financial institution in Mexico, is strengthening the entrepreneurial ecosystem for women through its corporate foundation, and simultaneously looking to increase commercial investment in its portfolio of women entrepreneurs.

One conclusion from our research is
that this supportive ecosystem must
function as an integrated whole in
order for social enterprises in new
sectors to succeed.
— The Shell Foundation, Enterprise Solutions to 2030

The Shell Foundation has also recognized the importance of ecosystem approaches. Their recently released Enterprise Solutions to 2030 offers analysis of specific types of market-building support that must be provided simultaneously for enterprises serving low-income consumers to succeed, as well as how comparative advantages can be harnessed to create stronger ecosystems that rapidly accelerate market growth. 

ANDE has also embarked on its own entrepreneurial ecosystem initiative in Uganda. With funding from the Argidius Foundation, the Dutch Good Growth Fund, and the Small Foundation, and with support from the Shell Foundation, Swiss Development Corporation, and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), ANDE launched this two-phase project in March 2018. Learn more >.