A ‘ROUND THE WORLD TICKET TO THE BEST ENTREPRENEURIAL ECOSYSTEM ON THE PLANET BY AMY GUTTMAN, FORBES

A round-the-world ticket to the best ecosystems on the planet is a tall order, but, I intend to deliver. I’ve been writing about interesting entrepreneurs doing interesting things on this blog, and I’ll continue to do so, but I’m shifting focus slightly. Or rather, I’m creating a focus, specifically turning my lens to entrepreneurial ecosystems – what governments do, or don’t to support them, shining a spotlight on those that are emerging, established, or simply thriving. It’s a topic I’ve long been interested in, and have covered in some detail, from places like Iran, where I explored the dynamic startup scene, partly a result of sanctions, fuelled by 20-somethings adapting Western goods and services websites like the brothers who created an Iranian Amazon and a woman who developed her version of Groupon to address local needs. There, like most places, the ecosystem isn’t limited to technology. New hotels going up to accommodate tourism and foreign investors contribute as much as startups. And some entrepreneurs, like Anna Sani, are successful despite a decidedly low-tech presence for her fashion business. She markets her designs exclusively through Facebook, currently banned in Iran, but accessed through a VPN, and Instagram.

Or, take Serbia, with its design incubator, driven by 20 and 30-somethings, a generation with enough political stability to concentrate on aesthetics rather than escaping conflicts. It goes hand in hand with Belgrade Design Week. The decade-old annual event attracts an international crowd, taking a “slow and steady wins the race” approach with double-sided exposure. It’s been building on its success each year, encouraging young design students to think big. The Balkan country has become known for its competent pool of engineering graduates, including three friends whose startup produces the most popular sports game on the internet. Government initiatives to lure foreign investment are helping establish modern business structures for young entrepreneurs.

Read the entire article at Forbes.

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It was great that the speakers and the attendees were actually to share ideas and express their views as opposed to solely exhibition purposed fairs. It was very impressive, how successful and innovative individuals from various disciplines spoke about their worlds and how the audience interactively took part. To have attended and to have experienced this interaction at Belgrade Design Week made me very pleased. I would like to extend my congratulations to the BDW organizers due to this successful event.

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