Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Mapping
A social sciences entrepreneurial support mapping project
Drawing on the wealth of entrepreneurial activities and opportunities that exist across the Aspect network, this project aimed to identify and ‘map’ the entrepreneurship offerings at member institutions.
The Project Manager worked with members of the Entrepreneurship Community of Practice to identify the range of offerings available at each university, highlighting any notable examples and gaps. Member’s offerings were categorised into four areas:
- People – entrepreneurs & start-ups, supporters, entrepreneurial academics, industry partners, networks
- Places – co-working spaces, offices and parks, hubs, accelerators/incubators
- Programmes – events, workshops, networking
- Pounds – competitions, investors, awards and grants
Looking at these areas across 11 Aspect institutions, a comparison matrix was created. The intention was to allow members to consider what could be shared in terms of best practice and ideas, and to enable universities to see how they may supplement their offerings, by learning from the activities collated from elsewhere.
The matrix has been translated into an interactive online map, which will enable universities to better inform their entrepreneurial networks, whether in existence or being established, of the opportunities to get involved in the social sciences entrepreneurship ecosystem.
The audit uncovered that very few members have social sciences specific offerings, rather, most seek to engage social scientists with existing offerings. Members have been exploring how to best do this via other projects such as the Entrepreneurship Workshop Series, the ASAP Accelerator, and the Social Science Student Journey Mapping mini-project (read more about these projects on the Entrepreneurship COP webpage). Other learnings from this project have been reported in the 2020 and 2021 Aspect Learning Reports.
Check out the Interactive Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Map created in collaboration with Studio Harris Blondman by clicking on the button below, or browse the other project resources via the links below.
Project resources and outputs:
- Offerings Comparison Matrix (accessible to Aspect members only) – This detailed spreadsheet details the existing offerings at each member institution that informed the Interactive Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Map. This spreadsheet can also be used by members to compare their offerings to those of peer institutions. As a next, it could also be used to complete a gap analysis across Aspect, and consider where universities may wish to supplement their offerings based on best practice elsewhere.
- Implementation Guide – this guide is for members who participated in the mapping exercise. It outlines how the data can be used to build a web-based map or visual representation of the offerings listed in their matrix, modelled on the University of Oxford’s ‘Enterprising Oxford’ website. Read more about Oxford’s journey in this write-up from the Entrepreneurship COP Workshop Series project.
- Case Studies in Social Sciences Entrepreneurship – Each COP member was invited to put forward two case studies of student entrepreneurs with a social science background from their institution. The case studies were selected based on their impact or role in the ecosystem, and showcase a multitude of different entrepreneurial ventures.
- Spotlight on Oxford’s Entrepreneurs Uncovered – This information pack and presentation provides an overview of Entrepreneurs Uncovered, one of the ‘good practice’ examples highlighted in the mapping exercises. The pack provides guidance on how to run a similar programme at your institution.
- LSE’s Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Offerings (Digital Flyer) – Using the information gathered in this mapping project, the LSE team created a ‘digital flyer’ that they can use to showcase their offerings to student entrepreneurs. The flyer was created as one example of how members can use and apply their own ecosystem audit data.
- Ecosystem Mapping Interim Project Update (October 2020) – In this article, Project Manager Emma Mirams provides a mid-point update on the project.
- Ecosystem Mapping Final Project Update (February 21) – An excerpt from the final report to the Aspect Steering Group, recapping the project aims, final outputs, and feedback.