Ever since the global economic crisis in 2009, the world’s economy – in which Vietnam is no exception – started to be unstable, risky, complicated and unclarified. In this situation, the creative business models began to appear and quickly expanded, became a motivation boosting the economy. Followed that, central and local governments also began to move from perfecting the business environment to building an innovative, creative entrepreneurial ecosystem.
The core difference of these of these two definitions is moving from trying to be stable to being flexible, adaptive and accept risks. The business environment is completed with the goal to ensure the convenience and accessible for business models when moving from one environment to another environment. The ecosystem is built with the aim to promote the diverse integration of different elements in order to create multiple creative business models through a test-and-error procedure with the lowest cost. Naturally, the “creative business models” will be exploiting and promote the economic advantage on the geographical aspect of the ecosystem. In another word, this “ecosystem” goes with practical economic-cultural-social conditions of the local region. This feature can be demonstrated thoroughly through international reports that assess the development rate of the innovative and creative entrepreneurial ecosystem in each city, not counties.
In this ecosystem, 3 elements that help connect and corporate are usually considered to be the platform for development include: the government, departments – universities and businesses. This article focuses on the business community and local business persons.
The first important value that local businesses can contribute to the ecosystem is the understanding of the local market. Making products and services when you are not sure about costumers and the markets needs is the popular mistake for innovative and creative startups. Even when the local market is considered to be small – what can be seen as an obstacle for the development of startup and innovation in Danang – the experiences and ambitions to go beyond the limits of previous business persons are even more valuable. Moreover, in the beginning, the innovative and creative business models continuously face struggles and hardships and every single one of them always needs to be solved immediately. So, despite of instructions, suggestions or assistance, being close and familiar to the market is better than all.
Local business models participating in the innovation entrepreneurial ecosystem can best play as mentors. When the owners and managers of businesses spend their time listening to founders introducing the products innovative ideas, making questions for the founders to identify the target customer, the landing market and especially to understand clearly how profitable the innovative startup can be. Mentor who share their experiences and business relations will help the founders find the suitable answer for their products/services. The mentors can also instruct founders to identify the target for expanding the business models and human resources, technology and economy to reach the expected goals.
Once thoroughly comprehend the founders solutions and their innovative business models, businesses will have a deeper concern. At this point, businesses can become consumers, or even the first customer. Once they see the new market values and accepted by customers, businesses and business persons such as consultants will want to become a part of the company’s success in the future through an angel investment.
What motivate these business persons that are packed with management tasks, and coordinating their business model to put in their effort, spend their time, business relations and even money for someone’s startups ? the traditional answer is the responsibilities to society. Correct but not enough. In the business culture, the mental power of individuals (I) that are craving for new innovative values, (II) ready to accept the markets risks, and (III) the effort to develop, grasp the business opportunity to participate, even stick to the innovative entrepreneurial ecosystem is becoming one of the functions of a business person.
Firstly, contact and work closely with the founders who are full of entrepreneurial energy and youth is the opportunity for successful business persons to recreate the entrepreneurial spirit within their businesses. After many years of growing and successes, the entrepreneurial spirit can decrease easily because of the business scale which usually goes with strict disciplines, Organizational structure, risk control. This decreases competitiveness, the innovative and adaptive ability when the market changes.
Secondly, exchanging and helping startups develop is the opportunity to access and get enrich your knowledge with new technology, business models. More importantly, the successful business persons will not miss the opportunities to own a portion of the innovative and potential business models. The procedure of developing the ability for founders and startup businesses is also the time for consultants to lead, grasp the competitiveness advantage, risks that the startup businesses have to face and their ability to be successful in the future. Moreover, these knowledges can be accumulated from within the business and from the outside. This is practical and valuable information that help the startup businesses get their investments.
Thirdly, the time working closely help consultants instruct businesses the mindset and ability of being innovative entrepreneurs in their companies more thoroughly. The entrepreneurs that are instructed by them are always the supplementary human resources with high adaptive ability and that helps them develop their effectiveness in the business results of the entire large system. Entrepreneurs are not required to be a part of the human-resource team within their companies. The initiativeness and creation ability of the entrepreneurs are enriched and utilized better when they are responsible for leading a business model and their benefits depend on that business performance. A trend is silently forming within Vietnamese entrepreneurial ecosystem is that successful business persons are looking for young entrepreneurs with the ability and suitable mindset to execute ideas and supplementary business models or to utilize the advantage of the current business model.