ECatalyst’s purpose is to transform developing communities through their entrepreneurs. Thus the focus is on the whole community, not just individual entrepreneurs. To do this, we must help entrepreneurs grow businesses in a way that inspires more people to try new ideas, connects the entrepreneurs to other entrepreneurs, and grows not just a few businesses but a culture of growth-oriented business creation. This is why we grow entrepreneurs through an ever-expanding community process that is open to anyone with growth-oriented ideas who is willing to work hard and try something new.
So we begin with leaders who believe in the process and want to own it as theirs. Just as ownership is important for individual entrepreneurs, we believe it is important for the ecosystem leaders as well. So the local leaders own the ecosystem developing engine as their own business. We then seek a mix of for-profit loans and nonprofit capital (including funds for future loans for entrepreneurs) from international and US based investor/donors and begin to build.
Once begun, the ecosystem-building process is a two-year, four-phase process* that launches growth-oriented businesses, generates revenue for the ecosystem, and gradually transitions to full local ownership. ECatalyst trains the local leaders, helps develop the cohort process (see below), and works with the local owners to develop revenue streams that will not only help them provide all necessary funding for the future but also pay off any loans associated with the ecosystem launch.
What about the Entrepreneurs
The heart of every ecosystem is the cohorts of entrepreneurs working together in community to grow their businesses (meet some of our entrepreneurs here). Entrepreneurs work through six months of validating and commercializing their ideas during which they are able to seek capital, find mentors, and launch their businesses. But the community does not end there. They may continue as long as they like with their mentors and their peers, even eventually becoming mentors themselves for future entrepreneurs. And all the while the cohorts are connecting to other cohorts and the wider business community. This creates the environment where future entrepreneurs can find the support and encouragement they need to build their own businesses.
Invest in Ecosystems!
If you or someone you know has a DAF (Donor Advised Fund), and would be interested in getting a return on your charitable investment while supporting sustainable development, contact us directly. We are creating deals in at least three countries right now, and would like to set up more soon. So let's talk!
*(contact us for more details about our process… we are happy to share!)
Five Years of building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem produces up to: