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ESHIP Summit

ESHIP Summit

Exploring pathways to build inclusive, sustainable, entrepreneur-centric local economies

The 2020 ESHIP Summit: Building Inclusive Entrepreneurial Communities happened virtually, September 15-16 and 29, 2020.

In the wake of COVID-19, many of our current entrepreneurial support systems are being overwhelmed and sometimes simply feel inadequate. Furthermore, our current economic systems leave out many people. Events of the last few months have made this even more clear.

Many are starting to see the need and urgency to foster more inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystems, and that no one organization or individual can do that work alone − a systems approach is needed. The current situation calls for what leaders (like you!) have been championing well before this moment.

At the 2020 ESHIP Summit, we explored how to do things differently to ensure our communities are vibrant, prosperous, and resilient now and in the future.

What We Can Do Together

For information about our previous Summits, visit our 20172018, and 2019 event sites.

The ESHIP Summit is a convening that brings together entrepreneurial ecosystem builders – leaders connecting communities to accelerate entrepreneurship.

Launched in 2017, the ESHIP Summit is a three-year initiative designed to bring together builders of entrepreneurial ecosystems to help accelerate the emerging field of ecosystem building, by collaboratively creating tools, resources, and knowledge to better support communities that empower the makers, doers, and dreamers in our communities.

To dive deeper into the work, check out the opening of our first ESHIP Summit from Victor Hwang, Kauffman Foundation’s Vice President of Entrepreneurship. It’s the perfect jumping-off point for history and context.

Watch: “ESHIP Summit Firestarter: Victor Hwang” | 10:06
Victor Hwang speaks about the best way to empower makers, doers, and dreamers – by growing the entrepreneurial ecosystem around them. Many have been doing this work on our own but now, we begin to build the field together.

Building a Field Together

Over the course of three years and three Summits, more than 1,000 ecosystem builders from all 50 US States, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and 10 countries have joined together to prioritize the work of entrepreneurial ecosystems.

We’ve seen leaders from all walks of life – entrepreneurs, economic developers, incubator directors, mayors, coworking space owners, real estate developers, community advocates, teachers, and more. All are connected through the belief that entrepreneurship is essential to the future of our society. With that belief, they are building stronger support systems for entrepreneurs in their communities.

For information about our previous Summits, visit our 2017, 2018, and 2019 event sites.

ESHIP Summit
ESHIP Summit

Based on the input of 800 ecosystem builders at the two ESHIP Summits, we’ve formulated The ESHIP Goals: a proposed set of collective objectives to further fortify the entrepreneurial ecosystem building field. The solutions to the ESHIP Goals will serve as tenets to the field, and the goals themselves are a checklist to help us prioritize, organize, and collaborate as we work together to improve the effectiveness of our emerging field as a whole, and as a result, the effectiveness of individual ecosystem builders everywhere.

The ESHIP Goals: Inclusive Field, Collaborative Culture, Shared Vision, Connected Networks, Practical Metrics & Methods, Universal Support, and Sustainable Work.

Achieving the seven ESHIP Goals will strengthen our profession and accelerate its adoption in more communities – removing more barriers for entrepreneurs throughout the world. The ESHIP community has identified some proposed initiatives that can help solve for the ESHIP Goals. These prioritized initiatives represent concrete steps we can work on together.

National Resource Providers (NRPs)

A National Resource Provider (NRP) is an organization with national or global reach that directly serves entrepreneurial ecosystem builders (not just entrepreneurs) through training, programs, and/or funding. More than 70 NRPs have participated in ESHIP Summits to date, playing a unique and important role in the growing field of entrepreneurial ecosystem building.

As we enter the deliver phase of our work together, NRPs, in close collaboration with ecosystem building practitioners, can provide resources and support for initiatives that move our field forward. NRPs are in a unique position to serve as a future home for new initiatives – ensuring their sustainability and accessibility for ecosystem builders everywhere.

Meet the NRPs

The following is a list of current NRPs that have been engaged with the ESHIP Community. More NRPs are continuously being added, please send a note to if you would like to refer an organization that meets the above-mentioned criteria.

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