Building Trust – A Playbook to Build Trust in Networks and Ecosystems

Uganda, United States
Entrepreneurial ecosystems
Together with Erin Ouzts and Kevin Asinde, Swisscontact has compiled methods to support ecosystem actors as they reflect on their roles and intentionally build trust within a community. 

Empowering entrepreneurs to reach important milestones more swiftly is the purpose that unites all of us within the ecosystem. As a group of ecosystem builders with over 45 years of combined experience working with entrepreneurs, we see trust as a vital component of success and an essential ingredient in any successful entrepreneurial ecosystem.

"Trust is the glue that binds people together and converts routine work interactions into effective teamwork. Trust is also a lubricant because when it is present, things move faster with less expense." David Hanna, Partner at HPO Global Alliance

Following the thinking about entrepreneur ecosystems introduced by Victor Hwang and Greg Horowitt in The Rainforest and Brad Feld in Startup Communities, both published in 2012, we each forged our own paths to build interconnected ecosystems that accomplished the work of transferring knowledge to those who need it.

Our experience informed the selection and design of this playbook which can be used as a roadmap in workshops and for personal development. Those who will benefit most are individuals and groups interested in building entrepreneurial ecosystems and supporting entrepreneurs. Each will find thoughtful and practical exercises that can be adapted to their needs.

It starts with the “why” of trust-building in ecosystems, exploring the proven science of improved outcomes with increased trust. It then asks readers or workshop attendees to look inward and consider their own trust framework and concludes with ecosystem builders from around the world sharing their experience.

The various sections of the playbook build on each other, yet can also stand alone.

We invite you to leverage these tools to be more intentional in building trust and empower your network to best support entrepreneurs.

Recommended Readings Related to Trust:  

  • The Speed of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything. Stephen M. R. Covey (2006)
  • Trust Factor: The Science of Creating High-Performance Companies. Paul J. Zak (2017)
  • The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups. Daniel Coyle (2018)

The development of the Trust Building Playbook was supported by the Credit Suisse – Swisscontact Initiative to Promote Entrepreneurship & Innovation. The initiative is financed by the Credit Suisse Foundation and is part of the Swisscontact Development Programme, which is co-financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

Cambodia, Guatemala, Rwanda, Uganda
Entrepreneurial ecosystems
Credit Suisse - Swisscontact Initiative to promote entrepreneurship and innovation

The initiative serves to represent entrepreneurship and innovation in developing countries and emerging economies. Through skills transfer and cooperation, select private and public partner institutions work to enhance the economic and social significance of entrepreneurship, fostering entrepreneurial thinking and action.The initiative creates...