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EcoSystem Forum on Building Social Capital

Event Date: 
Apr 03, 2019
9:30 am to 11:00 am EDT
Online Event
J.E. Austin Associates


Ecosystem Forum Logo

High growth entrepreneurs are the primary job creators in any economy*, helping to create a more diversified and resilient economy that improves economic governance, donor organizations and entrepreneurial ecosystem actors still face challenges when trying to have a positive impact on growth entrepreneurs.  One assumption has been that we can leverage the positive role of social capital built by the ecosystem community of mentors, investors, advisors, experts, entrepreneurs, and others.  However, research by GALI and others has shown that it’s difficult to identify effective mentorship practices among business support programs.

On April 3rd, 2019, Marketlinks and J.E. Austin Associates examined the importance of social capital and how to ensure its positive impact on entrepreneurs. The Ecosystem Forum hosted a joint webinar featuring a panel of entrepreneurship support organizations. The panel included Kathleen Bury, CEO of Mowgli Mentoring, Rob Tashima, VP of Innovation and Mike Ducker, Director of Entrepreneurship Programs for J.E. Austin Associates, and was moderated by Abigayle Davidson, Senior Research Analyst for ANDE. Panellists shared experiences on how they leverage social capital to improve the success of entrepreneurs. 

*OECE, Kauffman Foundation, Babson College, World Bank, and other organizations have published research on this fact


Abby headshot
Senior Research Analyst for ANDE

Abby joined the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) in 2016.

She focuses primarily on the Global Accelerator Learning Initiative (GALI), a research partnership with Emory University to investigate the effectiveness of business accelerators around the world, and the Small and Growing Business (SGB) Evidence Fund, a partnership with the International Growth Centre to fund researcher-practitioner collaborations to build the evidence base for the SGB sector. She spent two years with ForgottenSong, a non-profit organization that supports small business as a means of community development in war-torn countries and also co-founded Markham & Fitz, a bean-to-bar chocolate company based in Arkansas. She holds a Bachelor’s in International Business and Economics and a Master’s in Economics from the University of Arkansas.

Mike Ducker headshot
Director of Entrepreneurship Programs for J.E. Austin Associates

Mike Ducker’s work to develop entrepreneurial ecosystems in emerging markets has been praised by President Obama, Secretary of State Clinton and the Prime Minister of Armenia.

He is currently the founder of the Ecosystem Forum, a platform to share effective practices to build ecosystems in emerging markets. Mike has been supporting over 20 countries in developing their ecosystem, including with the SwissEP program in six countries. For almost 3 years Mike was the Entrepreneur-In-Residence for the pilot State Department Global Entrepreneurship Program (GEP) in Egypt. He has advised the Americans, Japanese and Swiss governments and several donor agencies on how to develop an ecosystem and utilize technology to grow your economy and is currently writing a book on this topic. Mike currently mentors for Accelerate Baltimore and flat6labs in Cairo, earned his MBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, was a former Certified Management Accountant.

Rob Tashima headshot
Director of VilCap Innovations at Village Capital

Rob Tashima is the Director of VilCap Innovations at Village Capital.

Village Capital is a global seed-stage fund that finds, trains and invests in entrepreneurs working to solve real-world problems – from health to agriculture to clean energy. Before joining Village Capital, Rob spent a decade as head of analysis for the Africa practice at Oxford Business Group, an emerging markets research consultancy. In that role, he worked with public and private sector stakeholders in Middle Eastern and African markets on primary source data collection related to investment and business environment issues. Prior to that, he lived in the Middle East, analyzing investment attractiveness in Kuwait, Jordan and Tunisia, and worked as a legislative aide at the California State Assembly. Rob also serves as an advisor to Asoko Insight, an Africa-focused corporate data start-up. Rob is a Truman Security Fellow and holds an MSc from the London School of Economics and a CEP from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Bordeaux, France. He received his BA from UC Berkeley.

Kathleen headshot
CEO of Mowgli Mentors

Kathleen Bury is Mowgli Mentoring’s Chief Executive Officer and holds a Business degree from the Nottingham Trent Business School.

She has undertaken a number of Executive Education programs in Columbia Business School, NYU, Wharton University, INSEAD Business School, and trained as a coach through Coaches Training Institute (CTI). Having worked in the UK, Middle East, North Africa, Asia, and East Africa, Kathleen has over 17 years of experience spanning profit and not-for-profit management, strategy development, project management, business development, consulting, research/market analysis, marketing/communications, knowledge management, process design, family business and startup/entrepreneurship. She is also an author of leadership and entrepreneurship focused articles within leading international magazines and online communities. Prior to joining Mowgli, Kathleen rose from a Research Consultant to Director of Market Analysis with Contax Partners. Kathleen is a founding member, current President and ex-Board Member of the Entrepreneur Organisation (EO) Kenya chapter, a member of the Global Philanthropists Circle, a public speaker, a mentor and mentee and a proud foster mom of 5 elephants through the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Kenya.

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