To you, what is an Ecosystem Builder?

A person who encourages current entrepreneurs and those who want to develop and grow their own businesses to be aware of and get to know each other and to show them the advantages of exchanging experiences, problems and successes to learn from each other.

What motivates you as an ecosystem builder?

Seeing the positive results of building and encouraging the development of the ecosystem.

What is the most successful/impactful program/event/thing you do/have done in your ecosystem?

Regular meetings of the Buckingham “Start-up Decompression Session” in a local pub. This resulted in entrepreneurs from several sectors, a poet, an artist, a (very different) economics professor, entrepreneurship students and me (Director of Buckingham Enterprise & Innovation Unit) exchanging information and supporting and mentoring the entrepreneurs who were often facing challenges.

What is the biggest challenge you face as an Ecosystem Builder?

Maintaining continuity, as we are all busy people and now the COVID-19 lockdown.  However I am sure that our ecosystem and the enthusiasm of entrepreneurial people in all fields will be essential to get us out of this economic hole we are in.

What is your biggest frustration as an ecosystem builder?

None really. Most problems and frustrations can be overcome with an enterprising approach to life.

What ecosystem building skill/knowledge do you want to gain?

How other people do it better!

What are the most important things that need to happen to advance the field of ecosystem building?

Ensuring that local, regional and national government officials and politicians create an “enabling” environment for so that entrepreneurs can develop their businesses, taking acount of reasonable regulations. They should not try to introduce an entrepreneurail ecosystem top(?)- down, but encourage entrepreneurs and others (such as universities, chambers of commerce, business organisations) to develop the ecosystem from the ground up.

How can we support you in your efforts?

Introductions to others in similar situations. For example, our ecosystem is not full of entrepreneurs in high-tech businesses. Buckingham is a small tome (13000 population) in the middle of England and tyhe entrepreneurs are in other types of business, so we need to learn from others in similar circumstances.