T H E M E 1
ESOS AND ENTREPRENEURS NEED TRAINING IN VARIOUS BUSINESS AREAS
There is a gap between what the investors are looking for and what the ESOs are producing in terms of startups. This gap is attributed to the focus and quality of the programs ESOs are implementing to support startups as well as the divide between ESOs and investors. Focus groups show that most ESOs provide mainly co-working spaces and community activities. These are not specific programs that prepare entre- preneurs for investment or growth. ESOs need to improve on making businesses more attractive to investors
Preparing startups to be investment ready matters the most
Results from focus groups show that the most common needs of entrepreneurs are as follows: funding, to improve their concept or to scale their venture into new markets. The need for external funding cannot be over emphasized in the journey of building a sustainable, profitable and scalable venture. In addition, business leadership competency and business development skills remain an essential need for the entre- preneurs, alongside technical expertise and corporate partnership linkages. As ESOs continue to develop their programs, some of the above-mentioned skills and competencies should be at the core of their programs. These are the skills and support that entrepreneurs are very concerned about. Early stage entrepreneurs need significant support to build ideas, choosing the right business model, and finding pre-seed funding to prove concept. On the other hand, growth stage startups mainly need leadership development and linkages to grow their market reach and generate higher reve- nues. These different needs should be taken into account when designing the capacity building program.
N E E D S A S S E S S M E N T R E P O R T
Trends and insights from ESOs, entrepreneurs, and investors
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