Entrepreneurs form complex ecosystems which are challenging to understand, especially for those with limited capabilities. In pursuit of understanding ecosystems, this research explores manufacturing incubators in Botswana and UK makerspaces as local entrepreneurial ecosystems, comparing a developing and an industrialized context. This doctoral research uses a qualitative approach to evoke inductive means of constructing and interpreting ecosystem data. Semi-structured interviews and visualization techniques are used concurrently to engage entrepreneurs, exploring mechanisms that shape local ecosystems. From the analysis of the findings, the research proposes a ‘Jigsaw’ framework and evaluates these using co-design workshops with SMEs, policymakers, and researchers. The research outputs suggest that the ‘Jigsaw’ is effective in helping actors to convene, visualize, understand, and act upon opportunities for entrepreneurship.
This article is a summary of my PhD in Design supervised by Prof Leon Cruickshank and Dr Daniel Richards.