The heart of any entrepreneurial ecosystem is the community of entrepreneurs themselves. The Swiss Entrepreneurship Program (Swiss EP) has incorporated this belief and supports building local startup communities bottom up by working with ecosystem leaders and builders, since 2015. Swiss EP works with selected startup support organizations – incubators, accelerator programs, mentors – and business angel networks. Through its network of international entrepreneurs and accelerator managers, Swiss EP supports these organizations to strengthen their performance, improve programs and deliver services of high value to their entrepreneurs, through strategic and practical advice as well as valuable international connections.
Growth-oriented, early-stage startups benefit from improved programs, targeted support structures, the flow of information, international connections, and access to finance. As a result, the startups are better equipped to grow and sustain their businesses. Through these efforts, startups create jobs and value to local economies. The support activities are conducted through the Entrepreneurs in Residence program, through which curious, collaborative, culturally aware entrepreneurs and startup professionals who yearn to make a difference, take part in accelerating the growth of startups and building entrepreneurial ecosystems in emerging economies.
Swiss EP is a program implemented by Swisscontact and powered by SECO, and is present in a number of countries and regions, including Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo, and North Macedonia, but also Peru and Vietnam. It also runs its own distinct initiatives, such as Women Entrepreneurs Week or Peer Exchange Meetup. Swiss EP does not directly finance any support programs, but rather creates connections between the ecosystem organizations and renowned experts, bringing them to locations where their expertise is most needed, following specific needs of local entrepreneurial communities.
Swiss EP has been present in the Balkan region for a number of years and has successfully worked with many local organizations. When it comes to the collaboration with SGA, its main focus will be supporting SGA’s programs aimed at capacity building of our members – teams and companies that primarily need to develop their expertise when it comes to funding, fundraising, business development (the infamous “biz dev” in the game dev vocabulary), or soft skills such as team culture, negotiating or presentation skills.
The first chance to join forces is coming already in early 2022, when SGA will be realizing a series of programs under the umbrella of its first Game Funding Bootcamp, aimed at gaming startups from the entire region. More info is coming soon!