Towards an Inclusive Innovation Ecosystem
While many studies have measured entrepreneurship at the level of the individual, entrepreneurial activity actually takes place in an ecosystem of intersecting and interrelating components. At the macro level, government policy, infrastructure, culture and social norms all play roles. At the meso level, key players include: universities, investors and financial institutions, organizations providing business supports, incubators and customers, who all have polices and practices that can advance or impede women. And at the individual level, beliefs, preferences, choices and behaviours, which are heavily influenced by context all play a role. There are no simple solutions to complex problems and a systems approach is needed to create an inclusive innovation ecosystem which supports diverse women entrepreneurs.
Led by the Diversity Institute, the Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub is working with other researchers and partners to pioneer inclusive innovation grounded in an ecological model. The Diversity Assessment Tool has been applied in a variety of contexts to assist organizations at all levels in developing practices to erode barriers and advance opportunities for women entrepreneurs.