My journey through an entrepreneurial ecosystem

The official “Jeanette Sjoberg” overview of the EMDIEL, provided by ESCP Business School.

EMDIEL = Executive Masters in Digital Innovation & Entrepreneurial Ecosystem.

I communicated my personal aims to my senior vice president (line manager) at the start of the EMDIEL in April 2018 which were as follows:

  • Radical personal and leadership growth
  • An opportunity-centred mindset for capitalising on and executing ideas
  • Mastery of key entrepreneurial methods and digital toolbox
  • Tangible advancement of a venture project through discovery, practical application of innovation and entrepreneurship toolbox (conceptual and experiential learning)
  • Experience a maximum diversity of tutors, mentors and participants with backgrounds in global business, science, art and design, particularly in the area of leadership growth
  • A solid network between leading corporations and the start-up scene in Germany, Europe, China, US and beyond
  • A personal network for life: coaching, mentoring, business opportunities, access to events

I had no idea of course what an entrepreneurial system really was and therefore the immersive nature of the EMDIEL was, in my view, the only way to understand and experience it. An entrepreneurial ecosystem is not something you can simply read about – you have to go through the journey yourself to truly understand the power of this global ecosystem to fully appreciate the opportunities that are available and that it is truly possible to create the future we want. Looking back at my original aims, I achieved so much more and therefore it is appropriate to critically reflect on the important aspects of the ecosystem (without writing a book – I could)! A key observation when travelling across the global to the different locations is that, for entrepreneurs, there are major differences in the entrepreneurial ecosystems and these differences emerge due to multiple, interdependent factors.

What is an entrpreneurial ecosystem?

The purpose of this series is to provide a critical reflection of entrepreneurial ecosystems, based on my learning and experiences in the various EMDIEL locations: Berlin, Shanghai, Paris, London and Silicon Valley. There are many experiences where I have been able to develop new perspectives and reflect on the validity of those perspectives given my own biases, my personal worldview, research, and, my specific entrepreneurial understanding and applicability to my own business context.

Of course, it is necessary to understand what is meant by an entrepreneurial ecosystem. For the purposes of the reflection, I will use the World Economic Forum entrepreneurial ecosystem taxonomy, (Drexler et al., 2014) as a reference point and provide insights.

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