About the ESHIP Summit

The ESHIP Summit is a three-year initiative designed to bring early adopters of ecosystem building together to think about — and collaboratively create — the tools, resources and knowledge the field needs to more effectively do the work of creating communities that empower entrepreneurs.

What we learned in 2017
  • In 2017, we came together to begin a phase of discovery, acknowledging that this field exists and is key to increasing entrepreneurship starts and successes in local economies.
What is different about 2018?
  • In 2018, we come together to review the findings from the discovery phase and embark on a year-long design phase. We will collectively develop and test sustainable and scalable solutions to the most important needs in our ecosystems and across the ecosystem building field.

Why Ecosystem Building?

We believe that ecosystem building — creating communities that empower entrepreneurs — is the best way to grow economies.

Ecosystem builders cultivate system-wide support for entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurship can flourish in local communities when people and resources are well-connected. Ecosystem builders build these bridges.

Ecosystem builders remove barriers to entrepreneurship.

This approach to economic development can reach more people — including those who face systemic barriers to entrepreneurship.

Ecosystem building can help:

  • Facilitate the creation of jobs, wealth and innovation
  • Inspire people, regardless of who they are or where they are from, to reach their highest potential
  • Reinvent local economies
  • Grow more resilient, thriving communities

Zero Barriers

The Kauffman Foundation’s “Zero Barriers” movement is a collaborative, nationwide effort to identify and together remove large and small barriers to new business creation to reverse the long-term decline in entrepreneurship.

We believe that everyone has a fundamental right to turn an idea into an economic reality, regardless of who you are or where you’re from, with zero barriers in the way.

The Foundation will work alongside entrepreneurs, ecosystem builders, policymakers and researchers to help develop solutions and empower more entrepreneurs to pursue their ambitions.

We’re calling on every entrepreneur — and everyone who fights for
 entrepreneurs — to help clear the path for the makers, the doers and the dreamers.

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