Instructor: Dr. Banu Ozkazanc-Pan, Director of Early Educator Innovation Lab & Accelerator, Associate Professor of Management, UMass Boston
Entrepreneurial ecosystems represent one of the most recent developments for fostering economic development as leaders globally aspire to build successful ecosystems in their cities and regions. Ecosystems are a community of entrepreneurs who are in relationships of exchange and mutual reciprocity, within the institutional and cultural environment of entrepreneur support organizations (ESOs), infrastructures, and resources. This course will examine the emergence of entrepreneurial ecosystems in different cities and the various roles, functions and goals of ESOs in these contexts. These organizations support the development of social and cultural capital in entrepreneurs and act as intermediaries in connecting them with the existing resources of an ecosystem. At the same time, ESOs may engage in gatekeeping behavior that replicates or even furthers inequalities in access to resources for certain groups of entrepreneurs, such as women and minorities. The course will focus on different organizational practices and policies for building inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystems. Students will have the opportunity to visit local ESOs during the course to enhance their learning of ecosystems, ESOs and inclusive economic development.