WELLESLEY, Mass., Sept. 20, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today Babson College and the Business Innovation Factory released research findings from the first year of their collaboration, the Entrepreneurship Experience Lab. The Entrepreneurship Experience Lab is an ambitious research and development platform that puts the voice of real world entrepreneurs at the center of an ongoing effort to design, develop, and experiment with new solutions that will make entrepreneurship central to our economic future and enable future generations of entrepreneurs.
"We face an unprecedented time of opportunity for entrepreneurship – how will we create jobs, build an economy with entrepreneurship of all kinds at its core, and solve complex social issues," said Len Schlesinger. "Understanding the entrepreneur experience through the lens of entrepreneurs and transforming how we teach and support entrepreneurship is how we will transform our global economy."
The Entrepreneur Experience Lab research findings released today looked at how people actually experience entrepreneurship. The research approach was based on a human-centered design process — one that begins by including the very people we are designing for — the research team was able to walk in the shoes of entrepreneurs, to listen to their stories, and to see their world as they see it. The research plan integrated a core set of ethnographic methods that ensured significant exposure to the people, places, and elements that make up the entrepreneur experience.
The observations and insights, gleaned from engaging over 250 entrepreneurs launching ventures in the United States, offer a glimpse into their everyday lives. Putting the entrepreneur at the center of the research, the Entrepreneur Experience Lab is developing a deep understanding of the entrepreneur experience.
The overarching conclusion from the research findings is that the actual experience of today's entrepreneurs does not align with the stories, myths, and systems the U.S. has created around entrepreneurship, and that the way the country currently supports entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship is actually getting in the way of entrepreneurial activity.
"It is clear that the entrepreneur support system in the U.S. must be transformed to be relevant to today's entrepreneur," said Saul Kaplan, Founder and Chief Catalyst at the Business Innovation Factory. "It's time for a new national narrative that can unleash the entrepreneurial energy and economic prosperity we all want and need."
Core elements of the entrepreneur experience were uncovered by the research conducted by the Entrepreneur Experience Lab– some were expected and some weren't. Some of the important key findings and insights emerging from the research include:
- How cultural myths, icons, and generally accepted narratives are derailing the entrepreneur experience
- How entrepreneurs de-educate themselves in order to practice entrepreneurship
- How cliques are limiting others' access to entrepreneurship
- How the most powerful social networks are local and physical (not virtual)
- How failure should be reframed as intentional iteration
- How entrepreneurship is becoming a life-skill
- How the disconnect between capital formation and the entrepreneur experience is growing wider
The Entrepreneur Experience Lab research findings are captured in a narrative report and an on-line portal containing over 200 video and audio clips of entrepreneurs sharing the story of their experience. A downloadable PDF of the research findings and access to the on-line portal can be found at www.businessinnovationfactory.com/elab.
About Babson College
Babson College in Wellesley, Mass., is recognized internationally as a leader in entrepreneurial management education. Babson grants BS degrees through its innovative undergraduate program, and grants MBA and custom MS and MBA degrees through the F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College. Babson Executive Education offers executive development programs to experienced managers worldwide. For information, visit www.babson.edu.
About the Business Innovation Factory
The Business Innovation Factory (BIF) is a platform for transforming our most intractable systems, like healthcare, education, entrepreneurship, and energy, where players -- both private and public -- can design and test new solutions in a real-world environment. The BIF model is simple: Connect, Inspire, Transform. Through collaborative learning opportunities, like its annual Collaborative Innovative Summit, BIF enables innovators to go up the learning curve together – to understand the hard and gnarly act of innovation. The BIF real world Experience Labs take a human centric approach to provide advance boundary breaking research, offers opportunity areas for systems transformation, and experiments in the real world with a network of public and private players to prototype and test these solutions.
SOURCE Babson College