E X E C U T I V E S U M M A R Y
THE HIGHLIGHT REEL A qu i ck snapshot of i ns i ght s f rom i nves tor s , ESOs and ent repreneur s sur veys and focus groups
General trends and key findings Our analysis revealed the following general trends about the needs of ESOs, entrepreneurs and investors. • ESOs and entrepreneurs are paying more attention to skills develop- ment and seeing it as a vital component to their success: ESOs are parti- cularly interested in knowing how to fundraise with foundations and donors; how to create, develop and track KPIs; how to communicate and reach out to entrepreneurs; and how to manage mentors/advisors, trainers and coaches. • ESOs and entrepreneurs increasingly recognize the importance of men- torship and coaching for their ventures’ growth and prospects. • Venture success implies much more than the availability of skills and financing. It is predicated on building a trusting relationship between entrepreneurs and investors. • Investors want more collaboration and alignment with ESOs and entre- preneurs. This will require significant efforts from both parties. • The greatest internal barriers to ESOs’ and entrepreneurs’ success are also the key drivers for company success, namely the ability to find and hire the right people and the strength of frameworks for operations.
• The greatest external barriers to ESOs’ and entrepreneurs’ success are also the key drivers for company success, namely access to funding; market accessibility linked to industry regulation and competition; and complex legal landscapes. • Business development training, coaching, mentoring, and networking should be supplemented by financial support to increase the chances for entrepreneurs and ESOs to sustain and grow their business. • A growing body of research points to several successful models for the financial sustainability of ESOs and startups. However, ESOs financial sustainability models do not necessarily travel well, and best practices in one place do not always translate successfully to others. • ESOs top four key performance indicators include: 1) number of entre- preneurs supported, 2) jobs created, 3) mentor/advisor/coaching time, and 4) number of investments facilitated. • Business development training, coaching, mentoring, and networking should be supplemented by financial supports to increase the chances of entrepreneurs and ESOs in sustaining and growing their business. • Data collected show that over 54% of ESOs staff members have low levels of experience in key business skills, including finance management, marketing, communication, and technology.
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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