How Ecosystem Builders Can Best Help Entrepreneurs Succeed – A Year of VilCap Communities

In 2016 we launched VilCap Communities, a 26-city pilot to license our curriculum and investment model to accelerators, incubators and investors around the globe.

This report compiles lessons learned, based on survey data and interviews with >100 ecosystem leaders and entrepreneurs.

We found that many entrepreneur support organizations promise everything to everyone, and end up failing for that reason. We offer specific lessons on how to find, train and invest in entrepreneurs, including:

  •   Many entrepreneur support programs rely on philanthropic support – and that’s OK. 55% of every dollar taken in by the 26 entrepreneur communities was philanthropic
  •   Entrepreneurs find more value in sector-specific programs. Entrepreneurs that participated in a sector-specific program reported 24% higher overall satisfaction

Download the report for more: best practices, interviews, and case studies.


Emily manages Village Capital’s Communities programs. She primarily focused on working with accelerators, universities, governments, and funds to create and build local Village Capital programs. Our engagements in these local ecosystems range from supporting community-run Village Capital curriculum to customized consulting engagements, scoping and assessing economic development goals of an ecosystem. Prior to managing Communities, she worked on Village Capital’s US FinTech program sourcing early-stage FinTech companies and working with PayPal. Before her time at Village Capital, Emily worked in research and analytics at Cambridge Associates. Most notably, she supported the creation of the first-ever Impact Investing Benchmark, managing the data and analysis of over 75 impact funds.