Swiss Entrepreneurship Program

The overall objective of the Swiss Entrepreneurship Program is to create jobs by strengthening the entrepreneurship ecosystem in six target countries. The program works with relevant ecosystem organizations (incubators, accelerators) and provides strategic support in improving their business model and acceleration programs and thus increase their performance. Consequently, the program does not work directly with companies, however growth-oriented entrepreneurs, startup teams and companies at an early stage will profit from state of the art services to grow and sustain their business.

The Project

The Swiss Entrepreneurship Program designed four main interventions, which are ongoing throughout the duration of the program:

1. Incubator & Accelerator Support

This intervention aims at developing or enhancing self-sustained business models and management capacities in partner organizations as well as introducing up to date acceleration programs for growth-oriented entrepreneurs.

2. Mentoring

Enabling local organizations to build their network of local (and diaspora) mentors and define a value proposition to help engage and retain those mentors. Partner organizations are supported to provide mentor and master mentor training.

3. Angel Investments

Supporting partner organizations to activate and engage with angel networks and jointly organize angel investor workshops to ultimately facilitate private investments in startups.

4. Media Buzz

Media work is a central and transversal matter and takes place on two levels. Firstly, partner organizations are supported to increase their capacities on producing and sharing content regarding entrepreneurship. Secondly, local media representatives and journalists are sensitized to increase publications on entrepreneurial topics and success stories.

The Swiss Entrepreneurship Program also includes two crosscutting interventions, which influence the main interventions above. Women Participation aims to increase and enhance women entrepreneurs and their participation within the ecosystem while Diaspora Involvement focus on activating diaspora members as mentors, investors and in media. Furthermore, the program will provide Peer Exchange Meetups and NexGen Women Bootcamps, limited in time and number of events.

General Principles

The Swiss Entrepreneurship Program

  • uses an indirect, systemic approach to strengthen the overall entrepreneurial ecosystem instead of single actors
  • does not have a sector focus to include innovation and opportunities wherever they occur
  • serves entrepreneurs at all stages along the life cycle of business creation
  • serves entrepreneurs of all age groups
  • does not provide financial support but support customised, individualized expertise
  • focuses on urban or metropolitan areas with the biggest pool of talent

Results

By strengthening the entrepreneurship ecosystem sustainable, the program aims at creating 4,000 jobs by the end of 2019. Since the program focuses on growth entrepreneurship, it is anticipated that businesses that go through enhanced acceleration programs, will increase their annual revenues by 50%. 

Project partner

J.E. Austin Associates, Inc.

Project countries

  • Albania
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Macedonia
  • Peru
  • Vietnam
  • Serbia

Project duration

2015 - 2019

Funding

  • SECO

Working area

Enterprise

Swisscontact
Swiss Foundation for Technical Cooperation
Hardturmstrasse 123
CH-8005 Zurich

Tel. +41 44 454 17 17
Fax +41 44 454 17 97
E-Mail info@STOP-SPAM.swisscontact.org