6: Promoting Awareness and Networking

6: Promoting Awareness and Networking

Negative socio-cultural perceptions about entrepreneurship can act as significant barriers to enterprise creation and can undermine the impact of policy intervention in support of entrepreneurship. The impact of regulatory reforms in support of start-ups or to facilitate access to finance for entrepreneurs will be less than optimal if large sections of the population do not consider entrepreneurship as a viable and rewarding option, i.e. if they would only consider entrepreneurship if forced, or out of necessity. Fostering an entrepreneurial culture that positively values entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship is a key determinant of the success of an entrepreneurship policy framework and it is also a crucial factor to overcome the culture of dependency – either from governments or aid donors. Table II.6 provides a synopsis.

Policy Objectives

Highlight the value of entrepreneurship to society and address negative cultural biases

Policy options (recommended actions):

  • Launch entrepreneurship outreach and awareness campaigns at national, regional and local levels in collaboration with all stakeholders
  • Utilize the media and spaces for policy dialogue, speeches, addresses and reports to communicate support for entrepreneurship
  • Disseminate information about entrepreneurship, including social entrepreneurship, and its impact on the economy
  • Publicly celebrate entrepreneurship role models through awards and other initiatives
  • Involve entrepreneurs in policy dialogue processes to sensitize government officials

Raise awareness about entrepreneurship opportunities

Policy options (recommended actions):

  • Advertise business opportunities linked to national sustainable development strategies, and related incentive schemes
  • Organize information and career fairs, forums and summits on business opportunities, including in specific economic sectors or on specific business models such as micro-franchising

Stimulate private sector-led initiatives and strengthen networks among entrepreneurs

Policy options (recommended actions):

  • Support private sector-led campaigns
  • Facilitate business exchange platforms, business portals, fairs, business associations and clubs
  • Engage diaspora community in local entrepreneurship networks
Checklist of key questions
  • Does the government carry out campaigns to promote entrepreneurship?
  • Do policy makers communicate their support for entrepreneurship in speeches, and communicate the link between entrepreneurship and economic development?
  • Are measures taken within the public sector to raise awareness of entrepreneurship issues with officials?
  • Does the government take part in global entrepreneurship awareness initiatives such as Global Entrepreneurship Week?
  • Does the government engage in public-private partnerships to organize entrepreneurship awareness activities such as entrepreneurship fairs or entrepreneurship forums?
  • Does the government support competitions, awards or similar events to publicly recognize entrepreneurs?
  • Are there initiatives to encourage and recognize corporate social responsibility?
  • Do information platforms on entrepreneurship and trade opportunities exist?
  • Does the government support networks of entrepreneurs and business leaders?
  • Are there measures in place to engage international diaspora networks?
Indicators to measure effectiveness

Possible indicators

  • Results of opinion/attitudinal surveys and evaluations following awareness campaigns
  • Number of business associations devoted to women, youth, rural entrepreneurs, SMEs, etc.

What they monitor

  • Success in fostering a positive societal attitude toward entrepreneurs
  • Opportunities for networking for specific target groups