Periodic Reporting for period 2 - LIFE (LearnIng from Failure in a collaborative Entrepreneurship network)
Reporting period: 2016-01-01 to 2016-12-31
For this purpose, the project mapped out relevant stakeholders and programs in each of the partnering areas. This information was made available to web entrepreneurs across Europe in one centralised platform, collaborating with projects in topic web entrepreneurship, enabling entrepreneurs to quickly enter other regions and efficiently find their way to the right partners and programs.
On top of that, Europe is facing a culture of (severe) “fear of failure”. It is therefore crucial to demystify failure, by gaining a better understanding of the underlying causes of failure, potential solutions as well as more (public) awareness and attention for the learning curve that goes with entrepreneurship, where failure is in many cases just an inherent part of the process.
The consortium identified, shared and discussed best practices through virtual and real discussion forums among themselves and with all interested stakeholders, addressing both
- Web enterprises that successfully overcame these obstacles and what we could take away from that for the next generation of web entrepreneurs
- The creation of value chains through complementary partnerships between different stakeholders in the startup ecosystem.
Best practices and lessons learned were not only be widely disseminated online and through the partner networks, but also through a jointly organised conference, called Failing Forward.
The yearly pan-European conference in Brussels was complemented with local events in the partner regions and:
- Generated and grew awareness that failure was an inherent part of the process of entrepreneurship and innovation;
- Shared and celebrated the success stories built on incremental learning;
- Opened up the existing startup support programs to web entrepreneurs from all over Europe.
The conference tackled an important cultural issue that was often cited as an important reason for weak entrepreneurship in Europe: the fear of failing. The conference aimed to promote a different way of handling failure, namely to learn from failure and to try again avoiding the issues that led to the failure in the first place. It, hence, aimed at making failure subject to a critical and rational discourse instead of stigmatising those who failed in following an ambitious goal. Besides the conference, thorough literature review in failure in Europe, best practice guidance and an analysis of over 160 startup founder interviews made the project a whole.