Entrepreneurial Ecosystems in Turbulent Times | Leader’s Angle Series
Entrepreneurship plays a key role in economic development, but it is widely recognised that both individual entrepreneurial action and contextual factors are important for achieving new venture startups success. An entrepreneurial ecosystem comprises a set of independent actors and factors that systemically enable productive entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurial ecosystems matter as they emerge from the interaction between startups, established businesses, investors, incubators, policymakers, and other actors in a geographical region. However, there are additional challenges in the South African context with change and uncertainty in the economic, political, social and business environment.
In late 2021 the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (South Africa) conducted pilot research in two metropolitan municipality regions, and the initial conclusions are these entrepreneurial ecosystems demonstrate different strengths and weaknesses.
A key challenge going forward is how to develop measures of progress and to support the dynamics and outcomes of entrepreneurial ecosystems in South Africa. Book now to join our very special Leader’s Angle Series event where facilitator Prof Natanya Meyer will lead a discussion with esteemed panelists Prof Erik Stam and Mr Miles Khubeka. Our speakers will discuss and debate how improving the quality of entrepreneurial ecosystems can strengthen regional economies.
ABOUT THE PANELISTS
Prof Erik Stam
Professor of Strategy, Organisation, & Entrepreneurship: Utrecht University School of Economics, and Extraordinary Professor at Stellenbosch University
Erik Stam is Faculty Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at Utrecht University, and founding board member of the Utrecht University Strategic Research Theme Institutions for Open Societies. He has been affiliated to many institutes globally, including the University of Cambridge, University of Oxford, Leibniz Universität Hannover, the Max Planck Institute of Economics (Jena, Germany), Institute of Industrial Economics Stockholm, IMT School of Advanced Studies Lucca, Indiana University at Bloomington, Tel Aviv University, Hitotsubashi University (Tokyo), and Zhejiang University (Hangzhou).
He is a leading scholar on entrepreneurial ecosystems, and conducts research on the context and consequences of entrepreneurship more broadly. He has (co-)authored more than hundred books, book chapters, and articles in a variety of disciplines, including economics, geography, business/management and public administration. He is editor of the journal Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice. Next to his scientific work he often engages with governments, start-ups and corporates on innovation and entrepreneurship. He has served many Ministries in the Netherlands and other countries, the European Commission, OECD, G20, United Nations, and the World Bank. He is on the advisory board of several public and private sector entrepreneurship organisations.
Mr Miles Khubeka
Keynote Speaker, Author, Celebrity Chef, Entrepreneur, TV Host and Philanthropist
Miles Kubheka, the entrepreneur, refreshing keynote speaker and author, is the poster child for the audacity of hope. Having once been employed by a leading multinational, he went out on a limb and ingeniously created a restaurant with the same name and branding as a fictional restaurant portrayed in a famous ‘beeg beeg dreamer’ TV ad campaign. In doing so, he catapulted into media stardom, and soon translated his innovative thinking into entrepreneurial success.
When occupying centre stage at a business symposium and delivering a keynote, Miles has a clear message of hope for multinationals and small businesses alike. If you hire the right people with an entrepreneurial mind-set, you can build new business models within your company, rather than have disgruntled employees leave and start a business in competition to your own. Miles is also a firm believer that entrepreneurial mind-sets can be fostered within an organisation. He encourages organisations to build a culture that supports employees to become intrepreneurs: people who behaves like an entrepreneur whilst being employed.
Both an analytical and creative thinker, who holds a Master’s degree in Business and a post-graduate Business Diploma from a leading business school, Miles believes companies who want to generate wealth, rather than to preserve it, need to offer new products and services. He shares his vision with businesses that are ready to ‘think out of the box’ when it comes to leadership, teamwork, branding and reputation management.
His accomplishments include starting a chain of pharmacies and co-owning an IT software solutions company. His never-say-die message about going back out there every day, even when times are tough (he almost experienced bankruptcy), is something all South Africans in the business world can relate to. Driven by tenacity, optimism and self-belief, Miles is uniquely capable of inspiring audiences to dream big but execute with practicality.
Mr John Lawson
CEO: Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry
After being partner in a consulting firm, small business entrepreneur and general manager in a mid-sized firm, the end of apartheid inspired a shift in focus towards development. John Lawson has been involved in various forms of economic development since. After a few years working as a consultant to the director general of Department of Trade and Industry, he aggressively specialised in discovering pragmatic approaches to local economic development. In the process, he has been privileged to work closely with some of the world leaders in Local and Regional Economic Development (LED).
His experience spans a multitude of industry sectors and work at all levels of government. His value system drives an unwavering commitment to do what is right, to ensure that local/regional economic development succeeds. Worked with Grant Thornton India to develop results frameworks and strategies for developmental initiatives of national and regional importance. Currently strengthening the cooperation platforms which unlock more opportunities for Cape Chamber members and which contribute to economic growth in the Western Cape.
ABOUT THE FACILITATOR
Prof Natanya Meyer
Associate Professor at University of Johannesburg
Prof Natanya Meyer commenced her career as a lecturer in 2012. She completed her B. Com and Honours degrees in Economics and Risk Management, her Master’s degree in Development and Management and thereafter her PhD in Entrepreneurship at North-West University in South Africa. In 2020 she joined the University of Johannesburg as part of the SARChI in Entrepreneurship Education. Prior to joining academia, she owned and managed three successful businesses highlighting her passion for entrepreneurship.
She has been involved in the development of entrepreneurial student societies, served as an executive member of the Golden Triangle Chamber of Commerce (GTCOC) and the Chair of the community of practice for entrepreneurship research in the Entrepreneurship Development in Higher Education (EDHE) initiative launched by the Department of Higher Education (DHE) in 2017. She is a member of the South African Global Entrepreneurship Monitor team since 2022 and a member of the Academy of Management. She holds a Y2 rating from the National Research Foundation (NRF).
She has published more than 70 peer-reviewed articles in national and international journals and conference proceedings as a sole and co-author, respectively. Her research focuses on entrepreneurial and economic-related topics with a focus on females, youth and the enabling environment. She is an editor, guest editor, editorial board member, and reviewer for several national and international journals.