Best Practices

Roundup: How to Measure an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Published Oct 10, 2016

Measuring Entrepreneurial EcosystemsYou can’t manage what you can’t measure—and you certainly can’t improve it.

Lord Kelvin, the nineteenth-century mathematical physicist and engineer, beat us to that piece of particular wisdom: if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right, and to know it’s right, you have to measure it.

In many cases, the gold standard for measuring and silver bullet for growing an entrepreneurial ecosystem begins and ends with starts and jobs. But solely counting startups and jobs isn’t a reliable yardstick when you’re building an entrepreneurial infrastructure. How do you measure collaboration? How do evaluate your entrepreneurial services? How do you know where your gaps are and how to fill them? And how do you know that the work you’re doing will eventually lead to stronger businesses and a sustainable economy?

We think—and read—about how to measure (and manage and improve) entrepreneurial ecosystems all the time. (It’s our gig.) Here’s where we’re finding food for thought and ideas to put into practice. Happy reading—and measuring.

Investopedia: What Are the Best Measurements of Economic Growth?
Similar to counting job creation as a central metric of measuring entrepreneurial ecosystems, tracking gross domestic product (GDP) as the main appraisal for economic growth does not provide the whole picture. Sean Ross provides his take on different methods of evaluating the progress of the economy.

EDF: A Farmer’s Perspective: 4 Reasons Why Collecting Data is Important

What do fertilizer and economic ecosystems have in common? A lot, actually. Suzy Friedman of the Environmental Defense Fund talks “big data” on farming, sustainability and some of the hurdles on measuring.

Enterprise Edmonton: The Challenge of Measuring Entrepreneurship, Part 1 and The Challenge of Measuring Entrepreneurship, Part 2

Two years ago, Paul Reid of Enterprise Edmonton pointed out researchers’ lack of measuring entrepreneurial intent—how we know which entrepreneurs are poised for high-impact growth and which are focused on building lifestyle businesses—and his proposed thoughts on how to bridge the gap. It’s a new perspective you may not have thought of.

Making (and Measuring) the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Tying something as dynamic as an entrepreneurial ecosystem down to one or two metrics doesn’t help communities know where to focus their efforts, where they’re growing or how to fill their gaps. Maria Meyers of SourceLink, shares how measuring different metrics at different stages of a community’s entrepreneurial development helps build economic sustainability.

Entrepreneur: What Are You Measuring in Life?

James Clear of Entrepreneur encourages measuring what matters in life because, “the things we measure are the things we improve.” Read this article if you need a refresh on the bigger picture.