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To start with the obvious, entrepreneurship means thinking out of the box and presenting commercially viable solutions. In the 21st century, urban entrepreneurship must be about relocating the planet’s resources to where they are needed, and keeping them in the system for as long as possible.
Secondly, policy is mandatory to enable and scale up innovation and entrepreneurship, but where there are gaps, as Beatrice Hati said,
"don't wait. Kick-start your idea and choose the moment to bring in policymakers."
Next, cities are often the most diverse parts of any country - and entrepreneurship must reflect that. If policies, individuals and investments are not intentionally inclusive, as Rafia Qureshi stressed, we are not going to get different types of support reaching the right people. We are also never going to get the right products designed.
Finally, solutions need to be scalable, and urban disruptors need to keep one step ahead if they are to remain relevant. While entrepreneurship can appear to be lonely, some of our big ticket problems can only be tackled through collaboration, as Damarys Zampini and Beatrice said. Our cities are fast changing, as are people’s needs and aspirations - from access to public spaces to the best healthcare and beyond.
If you want to find out more about some of the amazing companies and organisations that the speakers mentioned in the podcast have a look at their websites:
Aurik, EVolve Grid, Omniflow, Raizcorp, Resilient Cities Network, Safetipin, Solar Earth, With and For Girls Fund
We also wanted to share some interesting articles that related to the topics we discussed:
World Bank and Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) report on the net benefit of investing in more resilient infrastructure in low- and middle-income countries
Frugal bio-centers: https://doi.org/10.4000/eastafrica.545
Frugal MRI scanner: https://www.icfi.nl/frugal-mri-scanner
Dandora community multi-purpose community hall: https://www.icfi.nl/news/project-launch-multi-purpose-community-hall-in-one-of-the-most-space-and-resource-constrained
Urban changes and shocks mean radical thinking for urban disruptors: https://www.icfi.nl/news/a-collaborative-innovation-approach-to-transformation-of-public-places-in-informal-settlements
Researcher, International Centre for Frugal Innovation
Beatrice (PhD student and MSc in urban development and management) is a development specialist and researcher with background in urban and regional planning, and specialty in urban sustainability and climate change. Her practice in research and development spans various urban disciplines including resilient development, slum upgrading, Collaborative Applied Research, frugal innovations, sustainable transportation planning, policy analysis, and inclusive development. In her present works at ICFI, Beatrice explores the prospects of frugal innovations to trigger resilient and sustainable development in resource-scarce areas. At the Kenya Hub, she supports the research and implementation of frugal solutions across contexts.
Damarys Zampini is a global growth executive, driven by human ingenuity. She works with the future of Energy, Cleantech, Mining/Exploration, Construction, Digital and non-digital Technologies. As a CEO of Sustrategy, Damarys builds strategic plans for growth in existing & new markets. She works with leaders who are disrupting indutries, ready to scale, with significant ROI + ROC, who see the world as their potential. She scouts for innovative and inclusive solutions that measurably assist in transformation and net zero journey, so that they can disrupt, before being disrupted. Damarys has 20+ years of direct experience in energy, chemicals, cleantech, mining and disruptive technologies, including AI, blockchain.
Multi-lingual, multi-sector leader in philanthropy with a unique mix of private and public-sector experience ranging from venture capital and management consulting to strategic philanthropy and impact investment. Technical expertise in enterprise development, financial inclusion and gender equality across Europe, Middle East and Africa. Self-starter with in depth experience of strategic and operational planning and execution across both small, entrepreneurial companies and large, matrixed organisations. Strong leadership and communication skills and deep expertise in partnership building and relationship management at senior levels.
For this episode we will be supporting 1001FONTAINES by donating £100 for Every 100 Listeners which will allow :
100 people provided with lifetime access to safe and affordable drinking water