September’s roundup of news and stories about ecosystem building.

Black Silicon Valley: How The City of Memphis Is Becoming A Hotspot for Black Tech Innovators
The city of Memphis is growing into a hotspot for Black entrepreneurs and tech talent with the assistance of innovative organization, Epicenter. This nonprofit is helping Memphis create and sustain an entrepreneurial ecosystem by investing and providing resources for Black tech startups. External article – read more.


What Is an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem, Really?
“Even with a multitude of supporters, it’s important to remember no one organization or person “creates” an ecosystem. In fact, it’s even more important to recognize that an entrepreneurial ecosystem can’t actually be created or “owned” – but you can create the conditions—the entrepreneurship infrastructure—in which entrepreneurs are able to more easily innovate.”

SourceLink’s Rob Williams weighs in with thoughts on what defines a network of support for entrepreneurs in a community and give it a stronger chance for success. External article – read more.


Building Equity for Black Business Owners
In celebration of Black Business Month, Startup Champions Network took a look at some work being done by Black ecosystem builders across the country to move the needle towards equity, and their words of wisdom for how you can do the same. External article – read more.


As Pandemic Rages On, Cities Double Down On Entrepreneurial Investment
“Amid this deep economic hardship, some cities have launched initiatives to help keep their local entrepreneurs afloat, by providing not only grants and resources to small businesses in their communities, but specifically supporting minority owned companies.”

Writing for The Plug, Michael Graham reports on exemplary efforts by cities such as Detroit and Charlotte have taken to support and provide relief for their entrepreneurs. External article – read more.


Community Leadership: Feeders, Keystones & Conveners
“The term leadership is loaded with preconceived ideas about corralling the troops, getting teams fired up, being the charismatic founder of a startup team and so on… Leaders seem surrounded by a magic aura of inspiration and can-do attitude. In ecosystem building, our role is – in fact – not that of a leader in the traditional sense. We are feeders, supporters, conveners, cheerleaders and champions.”

In her second article in a series on leadership, Anika Horn, explores the role of ecosystem builders as leaders in their communities. External article – read more.


The Power of Story
“I gained a whole new appreciation for storytelling not just as a way of communicating, but as the foundation for building identity in an emerging movement of what we have come to call entrepreneurial ecosystem building.”

Anika Horn reflects on the ups and downs, the challenges and successes of four years of field-building work in the ESHIP movement to grow the field of entrepreneurial ecosystem building. External article – read more.


Community Leadership: No More Problem Solving
“As ecosystem builders, if we want to build and nurture healthy communities at the core of our ecosystems, it is imperative that we figure out what makes a healthy community in which members feel that they belong – the foundation for trusting each other and collaborating with an eye toward the greater good.

What’s more, we have to let go of our obsession with problem solving. Engage in a constructive conversation about a community’s challenges, but then move on to imagining a future based on your community’s unique gifts and characteristics.”

In her latest series of essays on entrepreneurial ecosystem building, Anika Horn tackles the topic of community leadership. External article – read more.


Cities Should Think Creatively about Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Building
“In the past, entrepreneur ecosystem building efforts were often left to the private sector or to nonprofits. But, as more elected officials—especially mayors and economic development staff— understand the importance of entrepreneurship to economic growth, entrepreneurship development is fast becoming the domain of cities themselves.”

In the latest article from Sourcelink, Dara Macan spotlights ideas from Alejandro Manzanares, grants operations program manager at the National League of Cities’ Center for City Solutions who shares lessons learned on how cities can focus on innovation and entrepreneurship as part of their economic development strategies. External article – read more.