ESHIP Communities

We believe communities that support entrepreneurs can improve economic prosperity for everyone.

We believe the tighter the link between a community’s entrepreneurs and its support system, the more economically vibrant that community will be – and its entrepreneurs will ultimately be more successful. This means building entrepreneur-centric, ecosystem-based approaches to equitable economic development across the country.

The ESHIP Communities program is a community-driven approach for building entrepreneurial ecosystems that foster inclusion, relationships, collaboration, and social capital across networks of entrepreneurs and those who support them. The program supports the creation and evaluation of a repeatable, bottom-up approach to building and strengthening entrepreneurial ecosystems.


Resiliency in Action

This image was created by virtual scribe Erica Bota of The Value Web over the course of the 2020 ESHIP Cross City Convening. It captures the voices of the many individuals who are now bleding their unique cultures and hues across the ESHIP Commmunities initiative. Please credit the artist if shared.


Learnings from the initial programs will help refine the approach in subsequent cities. To validate the effectiveness of the model, we are testing key aspects of the framework in the following communities:

Ultimately, policymakers, entrepreneur support organizations, and community leaders will be able to adopt this model’s policies, practices, and programs to build their local entrepreneurial ecosystems.

This Kauffman Foundation initiative is led by a collaborative council of individuals who represent different stakeholders from across the community. Forward Cities is managing the implementation of this effort as a grantee of the Kauffman Foundation.


ESHIP Communities is proud to partner with Startland News

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For additional information contact:

Megan Shuford, ESHIP Communications Manager